INDEPENDENT NEWS

Teacher Union Flawed Analysis Misleading

Published: Thu 15 Jul 1999 09:30 AM
Education Minister Nick Smith says that an analysis by the NZEI of the Report on the Compulsory Schools Sector is seriously flawed and misleading, and the union should be embarrassed at the mistakes in the analysis.
"The teachers' union confuses local funds with fundraising. 10% of schools' income is local funds, but only 1.5% is the net proceeds of local fundraising. It is true that schools are turning over more funds in tuck shops, in stationery sales, in field trips and with overseas students. To suggest that increases in these activities mean that schools are being under-funded is just garbage. School income from community fundraising has been stable at about 1.5% of total school income".
"The claim that more schools are in deficit is also very selective. Nationwide, schools collectively ran a surplus of over $40 million and their balance sheets have been consistently improving. Many schools will go into deficit for a single year to fund a major development. The more important figure is the number of schools with persistent year after year deficits, and this figure is falling".
"The report overall shows large increases in school funding. In the year in question, it shows that Government grants to schools went up by $178 million. We are spending significantly more on teachers, on operations grants, and on school property".
"If the teachers' unions want to participate in Government working parties, they need to start by getting their facts right, and not just trotting out tired old arguments of underfunding."
ENDS

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