Posted by: Observer on 21, Jun, 2010
MP Roger Douglas is trumpeting the fact that his private members’ bill aiming to bring in bulk funding and site contracts has been drawn from the parliamentary ballot. According to Douglas, his “Education (Board of Trustee Freedom) Amendment Bill would, if passed, enable Boards of Trustees to manage their own affairs by having full control over the employment of teachers at their school." He is seems to be under the illusion that currently teachers' pay is set by “Ministry of Education bureaucrats dictating salaries from their offices in Wellington." Even though he was once a Minster of Finance, he appears to have forgotten that salaries are in fact dictated by the amount of money the government sets aside for that purpose. A zero pay offer made by boards not the government is still a zero offer.
The Labour Party, the Greens and the Maori party oppose bulk funding and before the election the National Government indicated that it would not re-introduce bulk funding. It will be very important to keep the politicians honest when this bill makes its way into the House. A final thought: Will the ACT Party also be proposing that MPs salaries be set by a panel of taxpayers rather than being “dictated by the bureaucrats on the Higher Salaries Commission?"
If you want to know how destructive and divisive bulk funding was - watch A Civilised Society.