We are entitled to a free education when we are between the ages of 5 through to the age of 19.
Here’s the proof from the Education Act (1989):
If you read that you would think that any kid in New Zealand could don their uniform, Roman sandals and satchel and rock up to any public school in the country and get an education.
Under our neoliberal “underfund it ’til it breaks (see Kiwirail)” model of funding a range of public service institutions, the allegedly free education you get comes with catches. Your child’s free school education can cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars – especially if your school has uniforms, trips to places and iStuff to pay for.
Today Labour announced they were give schools $100 per student to cover these “donations.”
My initial thought were, ‘choice… Labour doing something in education…’
My secondary thought were, to quote the Arch Lord of Christchurch Gerrance Brownlee, ‘whoop-de-poop.’
My third thought were, ‘why don’t they just fund schools enough to actually do the job parents want them to do.
My fourth thought was, ‘that’ll never fly.’
We live in an age where our public sector funding and policy is devised by lobbyists working on behalf of people who haven’t used a public service of any kind since they were at…. a fully funded free state school.
I am being slightly glib. Labour have heralded a few education announcements this week and I am interested to see what they are. Hopefully they give parents something better than the current joke.