21 Jun 2010

Return of school bulk funding mooted

2:53 pm on 21 June 2010

A member's bill drawn in Parliament this week calls for the re-introduction of bulk funding for schools.

If passed it will put more power in the hands of school boards.

Bulk funding would give school boards the right to directly employ and pay for their teachers.

ACT MP Sir Roger Douglas says the bill is aimed at giving school boards the same rights and powers as any other employer.

Radio New Zealand's education correspondent says bulk funding caused controversy when it was introduced by a National Government in the late 1990s. It was later abandoned by the succeeding Labour government.

Post Primary Teachers' Association president Kate Gainsford says the bill is a mad idea.

NZ Educational Institute president Frances Nelson says bulk funding failed last time it was introduced and will not work this time.

The bill depends on support from the National Party and both unions are confident the party will stick by past pledges not to introduce bulk funding.

However, Sir Roger says he is interested in where the Maori Party will stand on the issue.

The bill is his fourth to be drawn in this term of Parliament.