NZ state schools are chronically underfunded with parents expected to make voluntary donations to prop-up the system, often $100s of dollars a year, plus subject fees, course materials, uniforms etc.
Schools are graded according to a decile rating system, the highest rated schools (decile 10) require a larger “voluntary” contribution from families than the lower ranking schools and receive less government money.
Increasing pressure is put on both parents and children who fail to make these contributions. As the recession deepens in New Zealand and the family budgets become tighter schools are bound to be the first to lose out on this extra funding, education is going to be one of the first casualties of New Zealand’s economic downturn.
As if this wasn’t bad enough head teachers are also finding it hard, if not impossible, to recruit good quality teachers – even from overseas.
David Hodge, the head of NZ’s largest school Rangitoto College went to the extraordinary length of travelling to Britain in an effort to recruit teachers from Scotland and England, but then he does this every year. On the salary and “bonuses” he earns one would hope that these “trips” are at his own expense and not funded by parent donations.
Teachers are angry at the pay and perks David Hodge attracts. A row erupted when the education minister Chris Carter accused him of taking an extra $18,000 from the school’s operations grant on top of a $185,000 salary.
Mr Hodge’s board of trustees-approved payment for “additional duties” included overseas trips to scout for foreign students, who bring in $2.5 million to the school each year. How many other school principals go to such extraordinary lengths?
Hang on a mo, but I thought he was going to Britain to scout for teachers too. Does this mean he’s also jetting off to Asia to attract students?
Other benefits include
- A $10,600 rebate on the rental of the principal’s residence
- $10,500 for acting as a support officer for international fee paying students
- A car reimbursement of $1000 a month, paid for 10 months of the year
- Almost $6000 of board of trustees approved extra pay