Parents up and down the country will have to pay more for their child’s education, following the National Government’s surprise budget move to freeze funding for schools’ operational grants, the Green Party said today.
“It is shocking that National is freezing funding for schools. Education should be at the top of any Government’s agenda,” said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“After the class sizes back-down a few years ago, it is surprising to see the Government again attacking school funding and our kids’ education.
“National is eroding the right to a free public education. This funding freeze will put more pressure on parents to pay more for their kids’ education and that is wrong.
“Like health, our children’s education should get regular funding increases to keep up with increased costs. This funding freeze puts quality education under strain.
“Operational funding goes into essentials like heating our schools, computers for kids, learning support, property maintenance, relief teachers, and trade academies. These are the basics of running a school.
“The school funding freeze will put more pressure on cash-strapped parents to stump up even larger ‘donations’ to their local school.
“Parents forked out $791.3 million between 2010 and 2014 to subsidise their children’s education with donations. The funding freeze will put pressure on parents to donate more.
“Lower decile schools will suffer the most, as their ability to fundraise is more constrained.
“The Green Party has pledged to increase funding for education to keep up with inflation when we are elected into Government.”