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Why are private schools receiving extra Govt funding?

Tuesday 25 Aug 2009 7:44 p.m.

Over the next four years private schools in New Zealand are to receive $35 million extra from an already stretched education budget.

Meanwhile, adult community night class funding has been slashed by $54 million, enviro school funding has been cut and low decile state schools are seeing serious reductions.

In south Auckland, Kings College and Otahuhu College run alongside each other, yet their financial situations could not be more different.

Kings College is a decile 10 school,has 950 students and had a 95 percent university entrance success rate last year.

It is also one of the best funded colleges in the country.

Otahuhu College on the other hand, is the largest decile one school in the country with around 1400 students.

That means the school receives little in the way of parental donations and doesn't even bother trying to fund-raise.

Despite the constraints, Otahuhu College does manage to balance its books thanks to the extra money it gets from the Government because of its low decile rating.

But a Government decision to lift a 10 year old cap on subsidies for private schools has sent a cold shiver through low decile schools across the country.

Four percent of all students in New Zealand are in private education, yet private schools presently get about 20 percent of the subsidy that state school students get.

The new National Government is seeing that amount increase to about 30 percent.

So how do private schools justify the increase in funding and what can be done to assist struggling low decile schools?

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