Parents, schools, teachers oppose bulk funding

Overwhelming opposition to the National Government’s school bulk funding proposal is unsurprising and Hekia Parata should now unequivocally rule out proceeding with the idea, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Bulk funding could only lead to bigger class sizes or a reduced educational offering. It won’t be good for kids’ education and I’m not at all surprised teachers have voted overwhelmingly to reject it. Feedback from parents and school leaders suggests they share the concerns.

“However I would encourage all those concerned about the bulk funding plan to turn their attention to other aspects of the proposed funding reforms. Adopting a standardised per-child funding amount could result in huge and unexpected changes, particularly for new entrants and middle schooling. Those plans deserve equal scrutiny.

“Linking funding to student achievement data like national standards and NCEA also carries huge risk, and could really hurt those schools dealing with the most at-risk students.

“National’s plan to significantly boost funding for private schools at a time when the majority of public schools are severely cash-strapped is also a real slap in the face for local schools and communities.

“National’s funding review is being driven by a very narrow-minded accountant’s view of education. It’s not going to be good for the kids.

“Labour will ensure that our schools are properly funded so that every Kiwi kid has their right to free, quality, public schooling upheld,” says Chris Hipkins.