Wednesday, February 03, 2010

State school funding

A comment on the last post made me think I shouldn't assume people understand the way schools are currently funded. Schools are classified into deciles explained here.

According to the Ministry of Education Resourcing Handbook, in 2009 all state schools received $707.83 funding per Y1 to Y6 pupil .

A decile one (poorest) school receives an additional $804.07 per pupil called Targeted Funding for Educational Achievement and decile ten (the wealthiest) receives nothing. All other schools are somewhere in between.

Hence many schools now charge rather hefty fees which are wrongly, in my view, called 'donations.'


PM of NZ said...

I had a squiz at the link - a prime example of one of the worst websites I have ever tried to navigate.

Try expanding Decile FAQs and reading each question - I gave up after 3 questions. Navigation is totally frustrating.

Designed by an academic, for teacher users that have never experienced the real world.

I say bring on National Standards to rout this warren of poxed unionists.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

Despite the presence of criteria for guidance the classifications seem arbitrary. If zoning was not a policy the classifications would be largely impossible as children would attend whatever school would have them from a number of areas within a city or rural region.

In my city there are six high schools two of which draw pupils from zones whereas the others draw them on perceived advantages. The latter is to my belief fairer in that any pupil no matter what his/her address may be, can attend the school best suited to him/her.

The allocation of funding to schools based on the decile system can perhaps be regarded as patronising as it pre-supposes that if a pupil's parents are less affluent then it will cost more to educate the pupil. This fails to acknowledge those pupils who are by their very nature inclined/thirsty to learn. I am not convinced that pupils from more affluent backgrounds do not prove to be delinquent/poor learners also.

If the state was to abandon education and leave it entirely to private enterprise then it can be expected that pupils will pursue places in the best available schools dependent on their parent's means and desires. This would not entitle schools in less affluent areas to increase their fees to accommodate the perceived additional problems that pupils in those areas allegedly have.

In conclusion I am of the opinion that the decile system is a distorted one and possibly entrenches some schools in a spot where they do not deserve to be.

These are solely random thoughts.


Shem Banbury said...

Firstly, zoning is only a policy for schools that are full with students. No school would zone without good reason and c an be a way to tell if a school is any good.

Secondly, while I agree that the decile system implies lower socio economic areas cant learn as well it is the facts that high socio economic areas have better students. Yes there are some students that don't follow that but only a few.

Your last paragraph I agree with. Although leaving education to private groups would be hard in the short term.

Anonymous said...

But Ozy your explanation as to zoning doesn't justify it. I suggest that if a school has a full complement of pupils then why not select pupils based on perceived ability rather than street address?


Shem Banbury said...

Yes you are correct. My explanation doesn't justify it.
Trouble is the government wants to avoid this as it would soon mean that students within a certain area might not be able to attend their local school.

If a school became so good and popular then local pupils would be pushed out over time.

Mark D said...

If funding is portable with the student then a good school can grow to accomodate the extra demand from out of area students trying to travel to it. What zoning actually achieved was to lock poor children out of good schools by limiting the number the school could take and then zoning based on the locality. The better off parents could afford to pay the higher housing prices to get into the better schools.
This was presented as enabling people to attend their local school as if this protected the people with least choice whereas in fact it cynically exploited them and locked them out of a chance at a decent education for their children.

Shem Banbury said...

"If funding is portable with the student then a good school can grow to accomodate the extra demand from out of area students trying to travel to it."

Funding is not portable. If a child from a low decile school moves to a high decile school the funding stays the same. I think decile ratings are assessed every 3 years unless a schools asks for a review.

True on the zoning and homes. It can add thousands to your house if you are in the right zone.