As far as National education budgets are concerned, teacher organisations get what it costs the government to get them off its back.
That cost was obviously nothing, as the school allocation is going from $13.9 billion to $14.2 billion; a 2.2 per cent increase that fails to fund enough to keep up with school rolls – so a decrease.
But then the teacher organisations never got through to the public, parents, opposition parties, or the media (or their own members).
And what do I hear? the NZPF is supportive of the targeted non-targeted funding allocation of $43 million over four years – that is under $12 million over one year for 150,000 children: about $70 per year for each child.
The NZPF praised the government and nothing else was reported from them – they danced to the government’s tune in the absence, it seems, of one of its own. It is about $70 per year per child and the NZPF found it grand.
The NZPF was off the government’s back for $70 a year.
For the cost of Hekia’s planned raid on the assets of one school ($12 million) your principal representatives were content.
And apparently, in a few years, when the children who receive the money are targeted, your principal representatives will be happy with that.
The children will be largely identified in head office as the ones to receive the money and your principal representatives will, once again, be happy.
And the target will be national standards with all their restrictiveness in learning, and wide opportunity in the marking – and your principal representatives will be happy with that.
What a gimmick to distract from providing real money for real needs.
A bunch of sheep?
Your principal representatives are complicit in the shambles that is clusters which will embed national standards and provide an overwhelmingly powerful instrument of centralised control.
Evidence of the education mess is all around them but they are obviously all right Jack and are content with a budget trinket.
Did the teacher organisations have a team available to analyse the figures and provide an authoritative response?
Your principal representatives seem to have lost sight of the real curriculum and accepted the government’s national standards one instead. It is the real curriculum that should provide the basis for judging funding needs and the demands that should be made of governments.
Children in junior classes need more teachers to undertake sustaining, individualised reading programmes, if more teachers aren’t appointed then phonics will become rampant in junior reading and reading will continue to plummet; numeracy needs to be based on genuine problem solving and more teachers are also needed for that; a free-thinking advisory service is needed for all curriculum areas; national standards should go and a NEMP-type evaluation agency established; and funding should be available for schools to set up Maori language teaching on an structured basis.
Such ideas might seem outlandish in the present neoliberal environment but so were the neoliberal ideas when they appeared.
Don’t be sheep, teacher organisation representatives – be independent, sentient human beings.
Yes – governments can do what they do for their political interests, but that shouldn’t hold teacher representatives back from doing what they can do in the interests of children – forget compromise, this government is trampling all over you, making a fool of you – be brave, propose an alternative, be inspiring – let the people hear.
Oh and can’t you get it? Hekia’s not that into you. When asked about the reduction in education, she said if schools got more, somewhere else would get less. And that’s why you went after Rangiora’s assets minister?