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Special needs funding plan draws fire

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/08/2016

A government proposal to change special needs education funding so that more of it goes to younger children is being criticised by opposition parties and school principals.

The plan isn't finalised and there won't be any change until March next year, but Labour and the Greens are up in arms about it.

"National's latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of seven in order to fund greater support for younger children is short-sighted and stupid," said Labour's education spokesman, Chris Hipkins.

The Green Party's Catherine Delahunty says older children are going to be short-changed.

"Everything I have heard shows the need for more support, and more funding, across all age groups," she said.

Secondary school principals are reported to be alarmed by the proposal.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says there's evidence that providing learning support for children at a younger age would have a greater impact.

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