[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]
Education Ministry officials were instructed to withhold information on reduced funding till after the election, a private school representative says.
Independent Schools New Zealand director Joy Quigley said yesterday that private schools were usually told the following year’s per-pupil subsidy rate in August.
However, next year’s rates were revealed on Monday and Ms Quigley said a ministry staff member said she had been instructed to hold on to them till after the election.
“When I asked in August I was told they were ready. But I suppose that because the decrease was so high they were just scared of any adverse publicity.”
Again we have an appalling case of interference either by Ministers or by labour leaning public servants or both.
We also have proven again a case of ideological policy for no apparent gain to the end user.
Ms Quigley described state funding of private schools as “slow strangulation” and said they would struggle with further subsidy cuts.
Despite increasing rolls, funding is capped at $40 million. To ensure the total spending on private schools remains within the cap, per-pupil subsidy rates are reviewed every year. In 2000, the per-pupil rate for years 11 to 13 was $2716. This year it was $2228 and next year it will drop to $2105.
Ms Quigley said many schools would be forced to raise their fees. The perception that private schools were wealthy was false, she said.
“It’s also about equity. These are New Zealand children in New Zealand schools with New Zealand tax-paying parents. It’s very hard to believe that there shouldn’t be a greater degree of fairness.”