Stuff reports that “Principals and teachers have savaged a National Party plan to increase funding for private schools, calling it a thinly disguised tax break for the rich.”
New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council chairman Arthur Graves called Key’s proposal to increase funding to private schools at the expense of the public system “a deliberate attempt to undermine and rob public schools and essentially provide a tax break for the rich,” saying “It takes the resources away from the schools that need them.” Frances Nelson, President of the Teachers’ Union the NZEI shared this view, saying “Any money given to private schools will be lost to the public sector. The taxpayer and the children of New Zealand deserve better”.
Once again, Key’s ended up in a policy “no man’s land”. He’s shied away from making the change his caucus and backers really want to see in education – a return to bulk funding – National’s pollsters having evidently confirmed it’s a “third rail issue” and ruled it out as politically untenable. But Mr Key has to say something; people are beginning to wonder where the emperor’s clothes are and National’s unlikely to fool anyone with their self-conscious re-branding of bullet point policy releases on their website: “Our policies so far”.