Tour gathers mo­men­tum in Rod­ney

Rodney Times - - HEALTH & BEAUTY - RE­NEE CLAY­TON

The Heart­land tour is gath­er­ing mo­men­tum as it drives around the coun­try with teach­ers, teacher aides and school ad­min­is­tra­tion staff urg­ing lo­cal par­ents and fam­i­lies to sup­port the call for bet­ter fund­ing for ed­u­ca­tion.

The Heart­land #Bet­ter­fund­ing bat­tle van was in Rod­ney en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to sign their pe­ti­tion which they will present to Par­lia­ment on May 1.

The north Auck­land tour be­gan at Man­gawhai Beach School where they gained sig­na­tures from par­ents, and then went off to Kai­waka School.

By the time the camper­van got to To­marata, prin­ci­pal Lynne Duf­fin and her staff had decked out the school re­cep­tion area with #Bet­ter­fund­ing sig­nage.

To end the day, they stopped off at Rod­ney Col­lege and Wells­ford Pri­mary School.

NZEI lo­cal Pres­i­dent and teacher at Man­gawhai Beach School, Michelle Dempsey said they had a re­ally good re­sponse from both the staff of schools and the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Lots of par­ents com­mented that it is about time Gov­ern­ment stepped up and started fund­ing our chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion prop­erly.’’

NZEI mem­bers said early child­hood fund­ing has been frozen for the past seven years, on a per child ba­sis, and core fund­ing for many schools has been frozen this year, leav­ing mil­lions of dol­lars fewer for chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion when in­fla­tion is taken into ac­count.

Al­ready schools are plan­ning to cut back on teacher aide and sup­port staff hours, or to in­crease par­ent do­na­tions to cope with the fund­ing crunch, the group said.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Hekia Parata said op­er­a­tional fund­ing and teacher salaries are not the only com­po­nents of schools’ fund­ing – schools also re­ceive fund­ing for learn­ing sup­port, cur­ricu­lum re­sources, pro­fes­sional learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘In 2017 just over $1.35 bil­lion is be­ing dis­trib­uted to schools in op­er­a­tional grants, as well as an ex­tra $12.3 mil­lion for those schools who have stu­dents from long-term ben­e­fit de­pen­dent fam­i­lies.

‘‘From 2010 to 2016, the cu­mu­late in­crease in CPI in­fla­tion was 10.9 per cent. The cu­mu­la­tive in­crease in the op­er­a­tional grant fund­ing rates over this pe­riod was 16.8 per cent.’’

Visit bet­ter­fund­ing.org.nz for more in­for­ma­tion.

SUP­PLIED

The Heart­land tour gathers mo­men­tum north of Auck­land.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.