Response to rising cost of state education



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A new survey shows that 13 years of state education for a child born in 2015 could cost Kiwi families up to $37,676.

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More than 1000 ASG members responded to the survey which informed the ASG Planning for Education Index, released today. The Index also tallied the cost of 13 years of private school education as $323,814 and state integrated schooling at $107,962.

The cost of education in New Zealand appears to be growing, with costs having risen at 1.5 times the rate of inflation, with no signs of slowing.

Education Minister Hekia Parata maintains that parents could not be forced to pay school donations and that all students aged five to 19 were entitled to a free education.

However, ASG Education Programmes chief executive John Velegrinis said school fees are only one component of total education costs.

“There is a myriad of other costs involved including transport, uniforms and school books, excursions – which can create financial headaches if they’re not planned for.”

The Herald today reported that some families assisted by Mangere Budgeting Services Trust had suggested they wouldn’t be sending their children to school next week because they haven’t been able to afford uniforms and stationery.

Meanwhile in its coverage of the subject, The Press focused on the financial impact of buying technological devices for students, with one parent describing the back to school stress as “raw” after discovering she had to buy a $530 Acer Chromebook for her 9-year-old son.

Education Ministry spokesperson Lesley Hoskin told The Press that schools’ operational grants had increased each year at more than the rate of inflation, but that decisions about other costs, such as the inclusion of electronic devices, were made by schools.

According to OECD figures, New Zealand student expenditure was "around average", she said.

The ASG survey reveals that New Zealand state education is considerably cheaper than across the Tasman, with Australian families predicted to fork out up to $67,894 for 13 years of state education.

More on the cost of state education:

For Massey University’s Associate Professor John Clark’s compelling opinion piece on this subject, please click here.

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