Big Education, not Big Government

In order to reach our goals of diversifying our economy and applying focus on weightless exports I am suggesting that we triple our spending on education over the next three years.

Tom Brown's School

Tom Brown's School

There were many discussions at the recent kiwifoo unconference about education and how it is so vital to our future in many different ways. Here are some statistics on what we have been spending on education:

http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/indicators/resources/2039

and from this report on how we will be spending less going forward:

http://www.treasury.govt.nz/topics/education

We heard about how a number of years ago Finland decided to spend 25% of GDP on education. This figure has since fallen to a more “normal” percentage of GDP but the effects are still noticeable:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7126562.stm

So, if we are *really* serious about wanting to raise our global competitiveness and guaranteeing our future (including retirement funds) it would seem education is going to be the success critical. In which case, let’s built an Education / Industrial Complex that enriches us. The opposite of the Military / Industrial complex that is now beggaring the USA.

I suggest starting a campaign that should be focused on building up our education capacity and capability. The title of this campaign could be the one I use in this email heading, designed to be as a-political as possible. It would have to work for a broad spectrum of political views

I suggest we have a goal of doubling education spending in real terms over the next 3 years and then committing to retaining that level of spending for 2 generations (30 years).

I don’t think this is unrealistic and could be financed in a number of different ways. Such as:

  • a 1 cent education levy on income tax
  • reducing other capital spending commitments (UFB, new roads, $2billion IaaS – come to mind)
  • borrowing
  • others….

It would be ok with government spending in other areas fall *if* it were compensated by a rise in education spending.

I have already had a variety of interesting feedback on this idea which I will write about in the very next post.

Share this article:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Identi.ca
  • Reddit
  • Scoopit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter