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Education Minister Chris Hipkins has refused to meet with Erica Stanford to discuss her Member’s Bill to replace the decile system with a needs index to more accurately target funding to disadvantaged students.

“Since my Member’s Bill was drawn from the ballot in March, Mr Hipkins has ignored several requests to meet with me about it,” Ms Stanford says.

“I was disappointed to receive a letter from Mr Hipkins at the eleventh hour, advising that Labour would not support the bill.

“He claimed he based this decision on a report from the Ministry of Education that he had been sitting on for three weeks.

“Had he taken the time to discuss my bill or the memo’s contents, I could have easily cleared up some of the misunderstandings in the Ministry’s misguided report.

“Mr Hipkins has been holding summits and calling for an ‘education conversation’, meanwhile stubbornly refusing to meet with a National MP to discuss a bill that would help some of our most vulnerable students.

“It is a real shame that Mr Hipkins is putting party politics above the needs of disadvantaged children.”

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