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Parata drops global funding proposal

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/11/2016 Sean Martin

Education Minister Hekia Parata has scrapped her controversial global budget funding proposal for schools.

She says the sector isn't ready for it and the cabinet has agreed it shouldn't go ahead.

Teacher unions, which said it was the same as bulk funding, have welcomed the decision but the Green Party says hypertargeting misses the point.

The global budget proposal was part of a wider review that's underway, and was designed to give principals more control over the way they spend their allocations.

They would have been able to choose between paying for teachers or using money to benefit their schools in other ways.

Ms Parata says feedback showed the sector wasn't ready for "the level of flexibility and accountability" that came with global budgets.

"I have therefore recommended, and cabinet has agreed, that the global budget proposal not proceed," she said on Friday.

Primary and secondary teacher unions praised the decision.

"Taking bulk funding off the table is a big win for public education," the NZEI and PPTA said in a joint statement.

Ms Parata says the ongoing review into the way schools are funded will centre on the progress and achievement of children.

"The current education funding system is too complicated and we have poor line of sight from the investment our government makes in education to how well kids do," she said.

"There is strong support in the sector and the wider public for a better way of funding schools and replacing the blunt decile system with a mechanism that delivers funding to where it is most needed."

But Green Party education spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty says hyper-targeted funding would miss students who need extra help.

"Maori and Pasifika kids miss out because of poverty and a lack of cultural responsiveness in schools, yet this new model does not acknowledge this at all," she said.

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