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
"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
"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."