INDEPENDENT NEWS

Alliance says school fee collections a shocker

Published: Mon 21 Jan 2008 04:03 PM
Alliance says school fee collections a shocker
The Alliance says it is offensive and wrong that underfunded state schools are taking on debt collectors to retrieve "donations" when the government continues to sit on a large financial surplus.
Alliance education spokesperson Richard Wallis says perpetual underfunding of schools is having a negative impact on the education of the children.
"If the education minister was as appalled with the situation as he says he is, then surely he would do something about the causes and not the symptoms - and the cause is underfunding."
Mr Wallis says school fees might be affordable in prosperous areas, but in many communities where low pay, surging living costs and food banks are still a reality, school fees are simply out of the question.
He says the situation is just further evidence of the decay of what was once a world-leading free, universal education system.
"If New Zealand is to have a free education system, funded by the community, then the Government must be prepared to invest the necessary funds. There is every indication that the serious problem would get even worse under a National Government that is opposed in principle to public services."
Mr Wallis says the progressive taxation system proposed by the Alliance, and its spending priorities, would be aimed at a completely free education system funded by the community, with maximum class sizes of 20.
ENDS

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