Schools fear the worst as cash dries up
4:00AM Monday Feb 02, 2009
By Jacqueline Smith

The first weeks of a new school year can be expensive for parents, but term one, 2009, could prove a struggle for schools as well as the global recession starts to bite.

Secondary Principals' Association president Peter Gall said New Zealand schools will be hoping families pay their "voluntary" donations this year despite the economy.

"Schools are cash-strapped anyway and I don't think anything is going to make that any easier."

Falling interest rates would also impact on schools' accounts as many had money invested in the bank.

They might have to look hard at the programmes they offered, but Mr Gall said discretionary spending such as upgrading uniforms or buying extra equipment would be cut first.

Many parents were also struggling, Papatoetoe South School's principal, Mark Barratt, said yesterday.

Some of the school's parents were struggling to put food on the table, and Mr Barratt said he was aware of redundancies and a general feeling of job instability among families.

More here.