With about 27,000 overworked and underpaid teachers set to go on strike next week, here’s how ACT would fund pay increases for them, says Leader David Seymour.

End Fees Free

"Despite funnelling $2.8 billion into a policy to break down financial barriers to university education, the Government has failed to increase tertiary participation at all.

"Only 29 per cent of kids from decile 1 to 3 schools attained university entrance in 2017. That’s compared with 66 per cent of kids from decile 8 to 10 schools.

"Labour have subsidised higher education for kids from well-off families who would have made it to university anyway and widened the gap for kids from lower socio-economic areas who have been failed by state schools and don’t end up able to make it to university.

"Ending Fees Free would free up an extra $5,000 for every teacher.

Halve the education bureaucracy

"The Ministry of Education employs over 2600 bureaucrats who are paid $82,000 a year on average.

"The number of officials at the Education Ministry has grown by 50 per cent since 2002. This hasn’t delivered better results for New Zealand kids. Student scores in the PISA test of maths, science, and reading are now at their lowest point since testing began in 2000.

"Cutting the number of staff at the Education Ministry in half would save $108 million and deliver a $2000 pay rise for the average teacher.

"If the Government isn’t interested in scrapping middle-class welfare or trimming the flabby education bureaucracy in order to pay hardworking teachers more, New Zealanders can safely assume they have their priorities backwards."