Campbell Tyson Blog

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I'm married to a teacher and so have been very close to what has been going on in the media as a result of Budget changes for schools.  I must say, I really feel for the schools.  As Gary Sweeney alluded to at a recent NZAIMS conference, the current issue is not about Teachers wages or contracts, it is about budget cuts affecting their ability to do the job they were charged with - teaching children.  It appears that Intermediate schools will no be doing everything they can to voice their displeasure and bring pressure to bear on the Ministry.  I believe this is a sensible approach to highlight policy decisions that will have a negative impact on what must surely be the most important thing we do as a country - the education of our future generations.

What saddens me is that there is no discussion around what other areas could be cut back.  Balancing a budget as a country is vital.  Just look at Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal to see what happens if you throw caution to the wind and borrow to fund a lifestyle beyond our means.  We have short patience for any one who does it personally, let alone a country that should know better.

Fine, campaign to stop the attempted $43million savings the Government are pursuing in a admirable attempt to balance the budget, but rather than whinging with your hand out, say what you are willing to give up to make it possible.  Suggest the areas that the Government could save money to offset the Educational Spending.  To the protesters, contribute more than clever banners and poorly sung Pink Floyd songs.  Start some meaningful dialogue rather than singing rhymes.  Show some of the maturity you are supposed to be passing on to the youth you are seeking to protect.

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To avoid being a hypocrite, I should say what I would do.  What about:

    • Treating prisoners in Prison as though they are there to be punished.  Drop the perks provided (under-floor heating, personal TVs, etc.) that would be denied to our Elderly in their homes

 

    • Get rid of Tertiary Institutions that teach no courses of value (and "steal" funding from those that do)

 

    • Get rid of funding for PC initiatives that bring no value other than promotion of "diversity" in society - if they were so valuable we would be doing it ourselves

 

    • Remove the option of being a beneficiary as a lifestyle choice (I have a wonderful view of the Pukekohe Courts, and I can see where your tax-payer dollar is going)



No I don't have a perfect answer, and I know there are people who would take exception to my suggestions above, but for us to be a country that is proud of the way we teach our children, we still need to balance our budget.

Till next time.

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