BIG NEWS

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Good decision

Roger Douglas' Education ( Board of Trustees Freedom) Amendment Bill got voted down today .

This bill would have introduced bulk funding into schools, and it would have meant that school Boards of Trustees would pay teachers and set their salaries. It would have meant that wealthy schools in leafy suburbs who raise $80,000 in their school fairs would get all the top teachers, and the lower decile schools who struggle to raise $200 at sausage sizzles will get the teachers who miss out on higher pay jobs at these higher decile schools as is happening in Denver,Colorado.. This inequality will not lead to increased overall student achievement. Bulk funding is leading to more inequality in Colorado, and it will do the same here.

But Act (and the Maori Party, who also supported this bill) don't really care about inequality in schools. The Maori Party only care about Kura and Act only care about people getting individual choice to structure their own affairs - and if that widens the gap between rich schools and poor schools, Act thinks that is just tough.

The bill is unfair, unnecessary and leads to greater inequality.Bulk funding didn't work in the '90's and it won't work now. And if freedom leads to more inequality its hardly positive freedom. That's why this bill was thrown out - and rightly so. Kelvin Davis made a good speech on the bill. You can see that here.

Now, the next thing that needs to happen is for another Douglas bill on education that will lead to inequality to be voted down in the next reading. Equality of outcome is important. How can that increase if equality of opportunity is reduced?

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