In defence of education departments, it must be said that the 2001 financial year saw a far 1 In the case of the Free State Department of Education, unspent non-section 21 funds accrued to the prov- ince, whereas in KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial treasury approved the roll-over of these funds and it will be re-allocated to the affected schools in due course. [...] Another group of schools that had been adversely affected by the introduction of the policy are schools that are located in the middle of the distribution of the Resource Targeting Table. [...] The phasing- out of the SMG and the age restriction of the CSG mean that these parents have been deprived of a potential income and therefore the reduced allocations of these schools are a double blow to these learners. [...] The Free State Department attributed this problem to the notion of the quintile principle in the funding policy, which recommends five categories with the same percentage learners in each category.10 Free State has attempted to deal with this problem in 2001 by increasing the number of categories and by trying to group the poorest 60% of learners as close as possible to each other. [...] BUDGET PROCESS ISSUES15 In terms of the Act, the State must provide sufficient information to public schools regarding their funding for the next financial year.16 In terms of the Norms and Standards for School Funding, provincial education departments should provide schools with indicative allocations at the end of September of each year.