New Zealand Labour Party

Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen

Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to make up the shortfall somewhere and that will mean even more financial pressure on parents. The costs of education are already rising at 10 times the rate of inflation.

“The extra funding for ‘at risk’ kids equates to less than a pack of chewing gum per kid per day.

“Spread over a year, that might give them a couple of hours of specialist teacher support each year and that’s about it. It’s not going to make any real difference.

“This Budget also does nothing significant to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

“In early childhood education, funding on a per-child basis also goes backwards – yet again –meaning parents will pay more and quality will be compromised.

“National’s agenda to ‘dumb down’ New Zealand continues, with tertiary student numbers forecast to keep falling until 2019 at least. With 64,000 Kiwis under the age of 25 sitting at home doing nothing, that’s inexcusable.

“Investing in education is an investment in our future. National’s Budget has failed this crucial test,” Chris Hipkins says.