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.