Aucklanders, we invite you to tell us what is happening in your schools - whether they are struggling financially, delivering beyond their means, or if you are pleased with the Government's level of support. Do you think it is right to see a school such as Westmere Primary pieced together bit by bit over eight years?
Yes, fundraising brings communities together, but should parents, already paying hefty "donations" be raising more than a million dollars in the hope their kids will get a roof (and walls) at a state school?
The Aucklander has witnessed staff at new schools, such as Stonefields, go cap in hand for money to buy essential play equipment - even before the first pupil has signed up to class.
In June last year, The Aucklander investigated the School Property Guide Deficiencies Programme (discretionary). This is a convoluted method the Government uses to pay for building "deficiencies" outside of classrooms - administration blocks, staff rooms, halls.
Westmere Primary received more than $370,000 but that was not enough to cover the school deficit - a school hall.
Tuakau College principal Chris Betty complained of leaking roofs for the past 20 years.
The school also converted a restroom into an office for 12 teachers and students froze in unheated, mouldy classrooms.
Education Minister Anne Tolley said National had streamlined processes so schools could get their building work under way quicker. Today, says Mr Betty, that roof still leaks, but he is ever hopeful. Money, we're told, is short, yet this Government ignored previous studies and a $12-million (that's 12 school halls) report debating the next harbour crossing.
In this Government's 2009 Budget, private schools, which teach 3.5 per cent of New Zealand students, received $35 million extra funding. Public schools - which teach 96.5 per cent of the nation's students - received $170 million.
Secondary school teachers have been taking industrial action for months over poor pay and conditions.
Teachers, parents, students, let us know what is happening in your school. Write to letters@theaucklander.co.nz or call 373 6929