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Underfunding schools sells our kids short

Student learning will suffer and parents will be asked to fork out even more for their children’s education because of National’s underfunding of education in this year’s Budget, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“A survey of principals found cash-strapped schools have had to stop classroom activities, cancel field trips and drop some courses. One school even had to ask the Qualifications Authority for special permission to alter its assessment requirements so its students wouldn’t fail NCEA.

“This situation will only get worse because National has underfunded education by $40 million in this year’s Budget. Core Crown spending for the sector needed to reach $13.17 billion in the 2015/16 financial year just to keep pace with inflation and demographic changes. However, the sector only received $13.13 billion.

“This is a funding cut in real terms – no matter how you dice it.

“National promised it would not cut education funding. This is another broken promise and our children are paying the price.

“High schools are trapped between a rock and a hard place after a crack-down by the Ministry of Education on schools asking parents for donations for curriculum activities.

“Hekia Parata claimed today schools have “never been more well-funded”. Astoundingly, she went on to blame these cut backs on schools themselves, saying they had a choice and were mismanaging their Budgets.

“This is an outrage from an Education Minister whose own incompetence and mismanagement resulted in the Government having to fork out $53 million to fix her broken Novopay payroll system,” Chris Hipkins says.