West Auckland schools set to lose more than $3.3 million of funding

Laingholm Principal Martyn Weatherill says schools are be asked to do more with a lot less funding.
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Laingholm Principal Martyn Weatherill says schools are be asked to do more with a lot less funding.

More than 50 schools in west Auckland could be financially worse off next year under a new funding model designed to help the most needy.

The schools, primary, special education and secondary, will loose a total of about $3.3 million.

The Ministry of Education figures have revealed 51 of 68 state or state-intergrated west Auckland schools will receive less money through targeted funding than if their operational grant had been increased to match inflation forecast for 2017.

MP for Te Atatu Phil Twyford thinks west Auckland schools have been given a kick in the guts with the latest school ...
SARAH ROBERTS/FAIRFAX NZ

MP for Te Atatu Phil Twyford thinks west Auckland schools have been given a kick in the guts with the latest school funding figures released.

The Government has introduced targeted funding to direct money at students who met certain criteria that put them more at risk of under-achieving.

The Labour Party calculated what funding would look like for schools under the new model, compared to if their operational funding had been increased to allow for inflation as predicted by Treasury.

This data shows 1376 schools nationwide will lose funding under the new system, with 140 schools having their funding cut by more than $5000.

From next year, schools will receive $92 in extra funding for each student from a long-term welfare dependent background.

Some schools in west Auckland could have more than $14,000 slashed from their budget, while others might only be down as much as $400 or $100.

Some schools will benefit from the change.

For instance, Sunnyvale School will get an extra $3878.19 in funding and Massey Primary School an extra $2332.39.

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But ones like Massey High School, a decile 4 school, will face losing $34,984.44 in funding for 2017.

Special schools will also lose funding, with the Kelston Deaf Education Centre expected a cut of more than $8,000.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says Labour was talking hypotheticals and the reality was that increases in operations grant expenditure had been more than inflation since 2010. Next year's increases would be for students who were at greater risk of under-achievement, she says.

Next year all state and state-intergrated schools and kura kaupapa will get their share of $1.35 billion and 2421 schools would share $12.36 million to be spent on children most likely to underachieve.

Parata says the approach will not put more pressure on parents' finances.

"It's important to note that for every $1.80 parents donate to schools, taxpayers contribute about $100."

Labour MP for Te Atatu Phil Twyford says west Auckland schools can't afford to lose much-needed funding and they are already struggling.

"Our schools work very hard to give our kids a good education. These latest figure is a real kick in the guts for them."

"The only possible way forward is parents will have to fork out even more to subsidise the loss or schools will have to cut back on essentials."

Waitakere Area Principals' Association president Martyn Weatherill says the stark reality is in most schools boards and teachers are being asked to do significantly more with less funding.

The Laingholm Primary School principal says his school received $1800 in 2017 as "targeted funding".

"Presumably with the intent - of the minister - that we achieve better outcomes for the at risk students this funding is targeted towards, interestingly we are not told who the students are. In essence we required to do more."

He says under this education minister the average funding per pupil has dropped.

"This is something that she needs to acknowledge and then clearly explain to parents how she expects schools to achieve more with less."

 

 - Stuff

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