Principals’ Palace Problems: Schools Moan Over ‘Measly’ $107 Million While Flashy Classrooms Crumble!

Naenae College

Principals are at it again, whinging about the paltry $107 million they’re graciously gifted each year to keep their school buildings from crumbling.

Seems these modern architectural marvels they call classrooms, with their fancy facades, ventilation systems, and doors that open automatically (heaven forbid the little dears strain a muscle) cost an arm and a leg to maintain. Who would’ve thought? Meanwhile, the old classrooms are falling apart because successive governments lacked the gumption to knock the decrepit things down when they had the chance.

Some Wellington princpal is moaning that maintaining her flash three-story block blows the budget. Well here’s a thought – maybe you don’t need a bleeding skyscraper to teach the three R’s! And a Christchurch principal is shocked – shocked! – to discover that heating systems and 70-year-old buildings require upkeep. The naivety is astounding.

Naenae College Prinicpal pretends his school has no money to get more funding.

The Ministry reckons schools get over $300 million a year all up for property. But of course, it’s never enough. Maintenance grants went up 3.5% this year but you can bet your last dollar the bleating won’t stop.

Here’s my advice to schools – harden up, make do, and focus on the teaching. Fancy buildings don’t educate kids. If you’re out of cash, hold a bake sale or something. Just quit expecting the taxpayer to mollycoddle you at every turn. It’s unbecoming.

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