National sits on cash while parents stump up even more

The National government is sitting in a massive $330 million underspend while parents are being asked to stump up even more to pay for kids’ education that’s supposed to be free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Only 7 per cent of the $359 million the National government allocated for their flagship investing in Educational Success initiative has made it into classrooms. Meanwhile schools are left begging parents for ever greater contributions in the form of donations, materials fees, and even payments for basics like photocopying.

“That’s hundreds of millions worth of funding sitting idle that could have gone to schools operational funding this year, instead they got a freeze. That money could’ve been used to hire more teachers and teacher aides, instead class sizes are getting bigger.

“Just as concerning is the fact that, of the money that has been spent, more of it has gone to schools in the wealthiest areas at the expense of schools dealing with some of our most vulnerable young people. Basically that means that teachers at wealthier schools are more likely to get the extra money than teachers working in lower decile schools.

“Nobody will convince me that there aren’t an equal if not greater number of brilliant teachers working in low decile schools, yet they seem to be missing out.

“Once again National has rushed out a poorly designed, poorly implemented programme and the kids are the ones missing out as a result,” Chris Hipkins says. 

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