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Budget 2003 a mixed bag

Budget 2003 a mixed bag

Secondary teachers will have mixed feelings about Budget 2003, PPTA president Phil Smith said today.

Mr Smith said PPTA welcomed the extra funding for extra secondary teachers and for NCEA implementation and NCEA fees rebates announced prior to the Budget.

Funding increases to help improve schools’ ICT networks and infrastructure and improve teachers’ ICT capability were also steps in the right direction.

“In general, the level of funding for education is good, and there are no moves that are going to take us backwards,” he said.

However, the increase in schools’ operational funding of two per cent barely kept up with inflation and schools’ budgets were already stretched by increasing administration costs around the NCEA and curriculum delivery.

“With a $4b plus surplus, it is disappointing that the government couldn’t put more money into schools’ operations grants.

“The operations grant as a proportion of school funding has continued to drop and now equates to less than half of total school funding,” Mr Smith said.

“PPTA believes all schools should be able to offer a broad curriculum and high quality teaching and learning through government funding.

Mr Smith said PPTA was also disappointed that despite the huge Budget surplus, the G3 equivalent issue remained unresolved.

“The $22m announced by the Government last week for recruitment and retention could be wasted if a significant proportion of G3/ degree equivalent teachers leave the teaching profession because their status has been downgraded.”

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