At the same time the Government is looking to pump more cash into private schools the IRD is investigating several over a tax swindle which allows parents to falsely claim private school fees as donations and claim a rebate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Inland Revenue warned against this practice – where fees paid to private education providers or the charitable trust that owns them are being incorrectly categorised as gifts or donations - two years ago.
The National/ACT Government’s decision to pump hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into a new lobby group to advocate for charter schools shows just how much of a failure their ideological experiment has become, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“When charter schools were first mooted, National and ACT swore organisations would be beating down the door to set one up. Yet in every application round since, the advisory group overseeing the process has raised concern about the poor calibre of applications.
Hekia Parata’s refusal to rule out bigger class sizes as a result of her new bulk funding regime speaks volumes about the real agenda behind her proposed changes, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Hekia Parata has proposed that schools should have the ‘flexibility’ to spend money that currently goes towards teaching salaries on other expenses. That can only result in bigger class sizes, a reduction in the number of courses on offer, or both.
Plans to give more taxpayer money to private schools at a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet says everything about the National Government’s twisted priorities, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation.
News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe.
“Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, these rorts went undetected for years under the Government’s loose monitoring system and have cost the taxpayer millions.
Nick Smith sunk to a new low when he blamed Maori and Pasifika educational underachievement for plummeting rates of homeownership among their people, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Jenny Salesa says.
“The Housing Minister yesterday said lower rates of home ownership among Maori and Pasifika were ‘just a broader reflection of the fact that they tend to have lower education achievement, that they have lower incomes, and that translates itself into housing’.
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.