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Nats slash education

Written By: - Date published: 6:37 am, June 11th, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: education, national/act government, public services - Tags:

Did anyone else notice that for all this supposed government waste that National was going to get rid of it made only $500 million (less than 0.7% government spending) of ‘savings’ per year in the Budget.

To get these ‘savings’ that it had to cut education spending savagely:

  • Cut Early Childhood Education Professional Development – $9.8m
  • Rescinding Previous Government’s Proposed Ratio improvements. Currently different adult:child ratios apply for children under two years old, and children two years old and over. The proposal was to shift this age split to the age of two and a half – $275.3m
  • Cut Schooling Professional Development – $35.8m
  • Cut School Support Programmes – $6m
  • Cut Innovations Pool for Students At Risk, Gifted and Talented School Support, Artists in Schools, Children’s and Young People’s Lifestyles – $11.7m
  • Resourcing. The Government aims to save about $50 million per year or 1.5% of its total spend of $3.231 billion on teacher staffing [cutting 1.5% of funding for teachers is about 1000 fewer teachers] about $95m Savings Across the Staffing Budget
  • Cut Education Advocacy Service and Careers Advice – $14.2m
  • Cut Scholarships – $98.1m
  • Disestablish Small Funds – $37.4m
  • Phase out CPI Adjustments for Tertiary Education Funding – $172.8m
  • Reducing Tertiary Education Capability Funds – $117.1m
  • Reducing Low Priority Tertiary Provision – $87.4m
  • Removing Growth in Literacy, Language and Numeracy – $94.3m
  • Cut the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) – $31.4m
  • Cut Education Counsellor Network, Export Education Innovation Programme (EEIP), International Scholarships – $29.1m
  • Reducing Ministry of Education Policy Advice Expenditure – $3.9m
  • Reducing Ministry of Education’s General Operating Expenditure – $18.5m
  • Reducing Ministry Activity in Support and Resources for Teachers – $23.6m
  • Cutting information campaigns -$20m

Total – $1181.4 million over four years

Doesn’t seem like waste to me. Seems like National is cutting education, the very thing we need to become a wealthier country. Seems like there’s another reason to call her Chopper Tolley.
– Marty G

[UPDATE: Maryan Street has a petition to restore the adult and community education funding here. Trevor Mallard has details here.]

[Update 2: I had missed the last of the cuts in the original post and added up the total too low. Thanks for vidiot who kindly lambasted me on the errors of my ways in the comment thread. So much easier than defending the slashing of education funding, eh, vidiot? If anything I think my mistakes show we need to be putting more into education]

21 comments on “Nats slash education ”

  1. Anita 1

    Two questions which speak to the size of the cuts:

    1) What is the cut calculated from? The 2008-2009 budget? The 2008 forecast for 2009-2010? And are the cuts from baseline or total?

    2) Does your calculation of the cuts take into account inflation?

    • Marty G 1.1

      The figures are the Ministry of Education’s not mine. I would think they are the amount that would have been needed to spend to maintain these programmes at their existing or planned levels minus the funding (if any) they will now get.

      I doubt the cuts are inflation adjusted, it’s not standard practice to do so in government accounts.

  2. Nick 2

    I count myself fortunate to have been educated in the 70s when universities were not meal ticket factories for the creation of corporate Jesuits, when you learned your trade during apprenticeships and at tech, and you did not rack up enormous debts getting educated for the benefit of employers. The point of the Nats slashing education budgets can be summarised as:

    * low demand for trained slaves in the market so why pay taxes for their training?
    * get the people to pay for their own training then use their indebtedness to keep them competing against one another so you dont have to pay them much.
    * keep the children of the masses away from the education that really pays because only the rich can afford it, and want their children to inherit their advatage at the expense of the less well off.

    In short slashing education budgets is no surprise, the Nats dont want you to have it. Cynical interpretation, maybe but before the usual suspects give the usual fascisti responses I suggest they check the track record.

  3. Dave 3

    I am sure this will be labeled ‘scare-mongering’ in no time flat, my guess is 9.30am today. It will make a NACT supporter choke on their cornflakes.

    I’ve been hearing this scaremongering word so often now, the words lost all meaning hahaha nice numbercrunching by the way 😀

  4. vidiot 4

    Total – $875 million over four years

    And once again MartyG has shown that his steam powered abacus is not up to the job. Add up the figures again Marty, the reduction is $1157.8 Million (using your figures, $1,181.408 using the MOE figures). If you want top be factual, at least get your facts straight.

    • Marty G 4.1

      Wow, so it’s worse than I thought 🙂 Yeah, I missed the ‘savings’ from abandoning improving the ratio of teachers to children for ECE when I totalled up.I’ll have to check why the MOE number is different, maybe I accidentally deleted a line when cutting down their page to what you see above.

    • Mr Magoo 4.2

      I don’t want “top be factual”.

      Haha…your post has no relevance now because you made a simple mistake AND I have justification of being a turd to you!

      At least get your spelling straight!

      ??? I love the interweb. A series of tubes? More like a series of logs…

  5. You’re missing the fundamental point. Education is good, but it doesn’t follow that every dollar spent on education couldn’t possibly be better spent elsewhere. Government, like people, has to make trade-offs. The way you present this post unfortunately begs the question about whether this money could be better spent somewhere else.

    I don’t know a lot about the specifics of those particular funding allocations, but I suspect neither do most people here. Maybe the schemes were valuable, maybe they weren’t; just listing their names doesn’t prove anything.

    • Marty G 5.1

      You can read their reasons by following the link above. In the case of cutting the money for paying teachers by 1.5% (enough to employ 1000 teachers) their reason is ‘Labour employed 6500 more teachers… so….you know…. too many teachers?’

  6. Ianmac 6

    It must be a good move to slash over a Billion dollars off the Ministry/school Budget, so that the elite schools get their essential extra funding. Where would we be if the private elite schools had to scale back? Be reasonable. Be staunch. Bite the bullet. Enough Scaremongering you pheasants!

  7. StephenR 7

    If people couldnt afford to go to the private schools, they’d have to go into the state school system, which would probably cost taxpayers a bit more.

    • Nick 7.1

      If only StephenR, the real issue is slightly different…..ask yourself why pay money to send your children to private schools? Probably because as the standard private school parent:

      * you have no faith in the public system giving your kids their rightful advantage over the rest of us.
      * you meet a “better” sort of person.
      * yours are the only “brilliant” kids out there so deserve the best.
      * it just would’nt “do” to send little Johnny to Otara Main even though you are in zone.
      * the ethnic mix (ouch, lets not even go there)……
      * the exams are more exclusive and the best Law pracitices only want Cambridge standards…..

      Lets get real, taking money out of education is a front line action in class warfare, it is where the wheels hit the road for aspirations and expectations in life.

      The wealthy classes are very good at propogating their class advantages, and education is a key to it. I would love them to go “state” as they might then have a vested interest in it’s performance as opposed to it’s cost.

  8. jason 8

    A few people I know from a more fortunate back ground have been sent to private schools. Over the coarse of a few years I have tracked their progress and discovered that a lot of them have tended to fuck around, education wise. Now on scrutinising a little some of these well-to-do kids have also made a hash of public schooling.
    Later in life when they get a handle on responsibility they turn out ok.
    It seems to me that they are no more gifted than the average Joe. They just get that handout that the less fortunate dont get. And they know it. They piss around and mummy and daddy are always there for the rescue. Then they espouse the idea of “self made”, that so many farmers and right whingers waffle on about.
    Think to yourselves of some of these people I’m writing about.

    • Nick 8.1

      You are onto it, so is Robert Winter, its all about making no investment in massed education then making excuses for why people or industries fail to meet their potential….then blaming these people whilst glorifying their position.

  9. Robert Winter 9

    In the 90s, the National Party underfunded the compulsory education sector, vocational education (remember the fate of apprenticeships), university and ITP sectors, and pretty much everything else in education. These settings, supporting the ECA, were a primary contributor to our failure to improve productivity and contributed to the growth in time worked and a labour market dynamic that favours lower-skilled, longer-working labour inputs, rather than a high-value-adding route. They are on the same path again, which also explains their empty rhetoric on productivity. Their focus on infrastructure, regulation and the like hides a profound lack of understanding of the drivers of productivity, and explains the ease with which they see constrained education spending as an appropriate policy setting. Bleak times again.

  10. StephenR 10

    I don’t give a rat’s arse why people go to private schools, I do care about people not being able to afford them dumping their kids back into state schools…at $10,000 per year per kid (does anyone really know?) that’s a bigger total than the subsidy the private school sector gets every year.

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