Labour Puts Blind Ideology AndArrogance Before Better EducationEducation
"Labour is putting blind ideology before better education opportunities for students," Education Minister Wyatt Creech said today.
"It is also being extremely arrogant threatening schools that are fully and honestly implementing current policy.
"Trevor Mallard should study Fitzgerald v Muldoon. New Zealand will not want to turn backwards to the days of near dictatorial government by executive fiat from Wellington.
"National has long supported the direct resourcing of teachers' salaries because it hands to those schools that choose it the authority to make decisions about how best to use the resources going to schools to deliver the best education they can. People in schools are much better placed to make these detailed decision than officials in Wellington.
"Labour wants to punish those specific schools by subsequently reducing their operations grants after they have made a legitimate decision under current policy.
"Anyone who believes in the rule of law should object to this sort of tactic.
"One thing I can promise all schools, is that if Labour was to become Government and abolish direct resourcing, National as soon as re-elected would fully and completely restore it.
"What is more we would never punish schools that chose to do the best for their students under whatever the current policy for the time being was. That is utterly unfair.
"Labour brought in direct resourcing of teachers' salaries in the first place. It now wants to go against its own policy.
"Trevor Mallard says he does not want schools staffed more than they would be under central resourcing. Direct resourcing merely gives all schools the same equitable level of staffing resources. Under Trevor Mallard's unfair policy schools with inexperienced teachers are penalised by getting less staffing resource.
"Labour is showing its true colours. If the teacher unions said jump, the only thing Labour would ask would be was how high. Instead of being driven by the union's ideological opposition to direct resourcing Labour should stop for a minute and think of the harm and detrimental impact on students and schools.
"Anyone who visits a directly resourced school will see the benefits - the hallmarks are more teachers, more support staff and a better educational environment for students.
"Labour has lost touch with the positive things going on in education. Turning back the clock will mean thousands of students will suffer."