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NZSTA optimistic Budget will deliver

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NZSTA optimistic Budget will deliver

The New Zealand School Trustees Association is confident the Budget announcement on May 27 will deliver its top wish-list priority – an increase in school operations grants.

NZSTA President Chris France says the association has worked alongside member boards to send the clear message to the Government that changes need to be made to current level of funding.

“This Government needs to make a commitment to up the level of annual operations grants. We are optimistic that the Government, and the Minister, are aware of our concerns and will make every effort to accommodate them in this year’s Budget.”

Chris France says boards of trustees are currently having to bear the burden of cost increases which are incurred by factors outside their control.

For example, the cost of School Support Staff settlements over the past three years or so has well outstripped the effects of annual increases to boards’ operational grants.

“There has been a steadily widening difference between what boards of trustees are funded and what they pay. This has increasingly impacted upon trustees’ ability to deliver quality education,” says Chris France.

“And when School Boards are reducing hours of work or laying off support staff as a consequence of a rapidly diminishing operations grant, we can be sure that a significant top up of the grant is not only needed, but is both essential and urgently required.

Chris France says the NZSTA is confident the Government will use the Budget to redress an ongoing, and increasing, shortfall. This has to be done now so schools do not have to use valuable funding put aside for the key aim of improving children’s learning on simply paying the bills.

ENDS.

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