Red Alert

Bulk funding = cost cutting

Posted by on February 6th, 2013

Last year Hekia Parata announced that the National government was going to be putting more kids into each class. The backlash was huge, and within weeks the National government had backed down, leaving a big hole in their Budget. They still haven’t identified how they’re going to fill it.

Yesterday Radio NZ reported that the Treasury are arguing for a return to bulk-funding of schools. One of the biggest components of our existing spend on schooling is teacher salaries. By devolving responsibility for salaries to individual schools, the government would also devolve the problem of working out how to make up for reduced funding.

If the new ‘bulk’ fund provided to each school didn’t keep up with increasing costs, and didn’t take into account any negotiated increases in teacher pay (which would still be negotiated by central government), schools would be forced to reduce teacher numbers (bigger classes), swap experienced teachers for less experienced ones to reduce salary costs, or cut funding from other areas of the school budget (which is already under enormous pressure).

Is this how Hekia Parata is going to fill in the hole she has created in the education budget? Bulk funding is National’s way of abrogating responsibility for funding schools properly. The losers, at the end of the day, will be the kids.

10 Responses to “Bulk funding = cost cutting”

  1. Phaedrus says:

    National’s love for bulk funding has never gone away. Treasury have tried to rule the educational roost since the mid 1980s, with a great deal of success at times. Therefore this is an entirely predictable move. Watch out also for ‘efficiency’ gains by privatising property management.

  2. Red Guard (Te Kauwhata) says:

    The statement ‘back to the future’ gets a bit tedious when it comes to the intellectually backrupt policy platforms pushed by Treasury hacks in support of their National masters.
    But should we expect any thing less, after all we saw the has being Nick Smith back around the Cabinet table after colling his heals for a short period.
    The brat pack of the 1990s is still influencing the National government of today, “I see the puppet (JK) but wonder where the puppet master’s hand is?”

  3. jennifer says:

    Could Joyce use the dumping of Novopay as an excuse to bulk-fund? The replacement could easily be designed for individual schools to handle pay locally, giving schools direct control of the payroll system rather than live through the nightmare of dealing with a central system? The stars are aligning for him.

  4. Ianmac says:

    Is the Novapay debacle a deliberate ploy leading to a justification for Bulk Pay? This will leave Joyce the Hero, and the Public re-joycing at the problem solved. No more nightly TV salary complaints. Hooray! But wait. What about the kids?

  5. bbfloyd says:

    “No more nightly TV salary complaints”… Considering how the media are going “softly softly” on this, and that they have already started reminding us, repeatedly, that the contract to develop the novapay system was commissioned on 2008…. this is starting to look like just another setup to enable johnny sparkles, and his merry pranksters to put all the blame on the labour party, yet again….

    Yes, I know that john “fluffy puppy” campbell, and other “reputable, and senior” tv presenters have done some erzatz hand wringing over this,(cowpat gower blew that act out of the water when he praised joyces “handling” of the issue on cue), but this lookes like just another fit up on behalf of an incompetent, corrupt cabal masquerading as real government..

    notice also, that at no stage have any government ministers been “put through the wringer” over the decision to proceed with a system that was known to have faults…

    I can’t imagine a “real” journalist letting the obvious connections that can be made regarding the motivations behind what amounts to a deliberate undermining of the system go unchallenged the way it is happening here…

    There is the obvious benefit of having teachers too distracted to be able to mount any serious challenge to the rape of our education budget…I’ve learnt the hard way just how far tories are prepared to go to get the instructions from their owners implemented…

    To be fair, no sacrafice is too great to achieve their goals… as long as that sacrifice is being made by those who would expose the true agenda being followed…or a few (tens of, hundreds of) thousand “peasants” that have no value to the party right now…other than as prisoners in our “profitable justice” system…once they start to react to the abuse handed out to them that is…

  6. PlanetOrphan says:

    I’d say NovaPay has the worst SQL engineers in the country.

    Don’t even understand what an “or” statement does would be my guess.

    Off the record, the idiots that hired them and let them implement that crap, should be shot!

  7. bbfloyd says:

    “the idiots that hired them and let them implement that crap, should be shot!”…. two different administrations here.. As far as I know, the contract was initiated in 2008…

    But to be honest, the real idiocy was signing off on a system that had proven flaws… Jennifers, and ianmacs theory regarding this being a trojan horse for bulk funding has merit..

    National has long used the appearence of incompetence as cover for some of their most reprehensable attacks on our social fabric….

  8. PlanetOrphan says:

    I Have to agree BBFloyd,

    The Gnat’s never did like backing down from the Teachers Union, Bulk funding moves it all one more level away from Collective bargaining, and puts the pressure onto the school administration(s) therefore hobbling the Teachers Union at its roots.

  9. ghostwhowalksnz says:

    Bulk funding wont take away the payroll problems. The education payroll is fiendishly complex, a and as schools would have to use a payroll provider, good luck finding one that has a payroll system on tap that can handle it.

    People forget that bulk funding doesnt change the fact that all state teachers are on a collective award, and they must be able to move between schools and even for relief teachers, different schools during a week

  10. bbfloyd says:

    I would have thought that bulk funding would make the paying of salaries(incorporating performance pay) problemmatical in the extreme…

    Are there any guarantees that the current raiding party will actually leave the award system as it is? Or will they attempt to drop that into the laps of individual principals, and school boards?

    The unfolding, multi pronged attack on the teaching profession, and through them, our children,demonstrates that there is no guarantee that they won’t try to absolve themselves of any reponsibility for setting pay rates for teachers…

    Performance pay looks to be no more than another step on the path to undermining the public school system, simply to make the path easier for profit driven education…

    In a sensible, rational society, what I’m alleging would be utterly rediculous, but we can no longer class ourselves that way… And we won’t be in a position to until the last taint of “education for profit” is driven out for good…and the despicable, limited, and corrupted cabal that has sold our children down the river of drudgery has bee removed from any positions of influence….