A meaningless $1 billion figure

First the misleading headline:

‘Free’ education system set to have cost parents more than $1 billion this year

You read that and you would think this means that parents have paid $1 billion this year towards their kid’s schooling.

The price of a free school education will soar to record heights this year.

Official figures show “voluntary donations” from parents and others will this year have collectively provided more than $1 billion to bankroll schools since 2000.

So it is not an annual figure but a figure over 15 years.

Commentators have described that as a watershed figure with some arguing New Zealand’s “free education” system is broken.

It is a meaningless figure, not a watershed one.

If you add stuff up cumulatively you will always get a big figure.

If you started in say 1996, then in 2012 you would also find $1 billion of fees and could call that a watershed figure.

Unless there is a particular reason to start in 2000, the $1 billion figure is meaningless and just an invention to get a headline.

Even worse nowhere in the article do they state how much the annual amount of donations currently is.

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