web analytics

Stupid hypocritical ACE cuts

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, September 25th, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: bill english, education, national, scoundrels - Tags: ,

Night classes – Adult and Community Education (ACE). An incredibly cost effective and valuable part of the NZ education sector for decades. The ACE budget has been eviscerated by National, cut from $16m to $3m. Effectively a death blow, most of the infrastructure and expertise will go.

Right from the start reaction has been strong and clear. Cuts put study lifeline in jeopardy. A lifeline is what these classes have been for so many for so long. I was at one of the many community protests, and the stories told there would break your heart. These cuts are stupid and short sighted, and driven by erroneous prejudices (see Education cuts not a good look). But Education Minister Tolley is determined that the cuts will not be reversed. $35m to give to private schools. $50m for a cycleway to nowhere. But no $13m to keep ACE alive. Stupid and short sighted.

And hypocritical? Once again the hypocrite is Bill English, who made this cut as part of the budget. Here’s what English had to say about ACE in 2005*:

Community learning has a long and honourable history. I recall my mother going off to night time classes in furniture restoration, a quiet space in the busy life of a household of 12 children. In a painting class I visited a few years ago a man told me about how the tutor had changed his life by challenging him, teaching him and making him finish the picture. He described how he had become part of this small warm community. There are a thousand stories about how human needs are met by the collective and aspirational activity of learning.

…Education among adults has taken off across the western world on recent years. In every type of education and skill training, as well as less formal learning, numbers have boomed both for publicly and privately funded learning. The idea that education after leaving school is the top of the pyramid is gone. The idea that a citizen has only one shot education as a child and adolescent is gone too.

…I believe there is a place outside TEC’s framework for the learning we have always had, low cost, informal learning opportunities in every community. I believe there is a place for unregulated learning, for opportunities that fill the need in a local community in a way that suits the community, for a mechanism that fills the potholes that formal state education just rides over. There is a wisdom and knowledge, a generosity in our streets and suburbs and small towns that cannot be fertilised and encouraged by a bureaucratic leviathan in Wellington, although the leviathan can squash it. … I believe there is a place for education that is NOT aligned with government priorities.

…I support community-based less formal learning opportunities. I want to work with you to retain funding arrangements that allowed community learning to be so successful for so long, and develop new mechanisms with the same qualities, if your needs can be better met. In the end community learning should be driven by the community.

What a fine, fine speech. Pity he doesn’t believe a single damn word of it. Instead English delivered a budget that ripped the heart out of community education. Shame.

[* This speech is not on line, though an extract is quoted here]

8 comments on “Stupid hypocritical ACE cuts ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    There is a wisdom and knowledge, a generosity in our streets and suburbs and small towns that cannot be fertilised and encouraged by a bureaucratic leviathan in Wellington, although the leviathan can squash it...

    Which, he just has and probably because it’s very difficult to charge for unregulated learning.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Seems like this would be an easy and cheap policy point for Labour to campaign on for the next election.

  3. ben 3

    An incredibly cost effective and valuable part of the NZ education sector for decades.

    Quick question:

    How do you know? How do you spot “incredibly cost effective and valuable” without any measure of cost effectiveness or value?

    Here’s a simple point: without any benchmark of cost effectiveness or of value, you can’t. Simple as that. You can’t possibly know enough to know whether those organisations could do the same job for half the money. You are, in other words, guessing.

    So what’s your evidence?

    Because the people receiving the subsidy like it?

    Because the teachers employed by that scheme like it?

    Neither of those are tests of cost effective or of value.

    • r0b 3.1

      How do you know? How do you spot “incredibly cost effective and valuable’ without any measure of cost effectiveness or value? … You are, in other words, guessing.

      G’day Ben. I’m not “guessing” at all. I try in general not to make substantive claims that I can’t support. Check out the 2008 report from Price Waterhouse Coopers Economic Evaluation of Adult and Community Education Outcomes here (pdf link).

      Based on the available data, including the survey responses, the estimated economic impact of the ACE sector is between $4.8 and $6.3 billion annually. This equates to a return on investment of $54 – $72 for each dollar of funding. Each dollar of government funding generates a return of $16 – $22, but this is further leveraged through private contributions to the sector, including those voluntarily added such as unpaid volunteer labour. …

      A key economic benefit of ACE is increased income for adult users because of subsequent involvement in paid or higher paid employment. Benefits were also realised through savings in government welfare benefits, savings in crime and health, value added through enhanced community participation and increased taxes. When compared to other community-based activities, ACE is likely to have one of the highest added values in economic terms, as it is largely focused on improving people’s productive lives through learning. Additionally, the benefits of enhanced learning are likely to have implication in all areas of an individual’s life, whether as employees, parents or members of the community.

      Plenty of evidence.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago