I believe that primary and secondary education should be free (this is required by s3 of the Education Act 1989, but widely abused by schools demanding donations).
I'd suggest implementing this as follows (bullet point form):
1. Schools may not demand a donation in relation to any student's enrolment
2. Schools may make a charge to cover the costs of optional activities which do not lead to an NCEA qualification
3. Charges under (2) may not exceed $250 per term for any student
4. Schools may receive small sums (less than $20) during fund raising events, performances, etc.
5. Schools may make charges mandated in part 1 of the Education Act 1989 (foreign and adult students, etc)
6. Schools may not receive any other direct funds other than as specified in (2), (4) and (5).
7. Payments may be made to the Ministry of Education for the benefit of any school. Such funds will be consolidated and passed anonymously to the school.
The benefit of this would be to provide equal access to any school for those whose parents cannot afford substantial fees. Any shortfall in school funding as a result could be met by:
- schools cutting back on vanity spending such as semi-professional rugby teams
- redirection of funding from private schools to the state sector.