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Operations increase not enough without staffing

Media Release

21 May 2008

Operations increase not enough without staffing – PPTA

Today’s announcement of a 5% increase in school operations funding needs to be followed by an increase in staffing to make sure the money gets to where it is most needed, PPTA president Robin Duff says.

“The increase comes in at just 1% above inflation, which means we need to make sure it is spent wisely.

“4% is inflation, 1% is a minor catchup. The operations grant is by several estimates 40% underfunded. Now it is 39% underfunded”, he said.

Mr Duff now hopes tomorrow’s budget will herald an increase in staffing resources for secondary schools that are so badly in deficit.

“A 5% increase is not going to go far while so much of the operations grant has to be spent on staffing”.

Mr Duff is also concerned about the $65.3million included in the increase to help schools with Information Communication Technology (ICT) over the next four years.

Sector groups consulted by the Ministry all said much more was needed before New Zealand schools could be said to be part of the digital revolution, Mr Duff said.

Mr Carter has already assured teachers at April’s PPTA professional conference that the Government’s Schools Plus education proposal would be properly resourced, and Mr Duff hopes to see examples of this in the upcoming budget.

“If the assurance of proper resourcing for Schools Plus is genuine, we are sure increased staffing and will be provided in the budget to help keep this promise.
“Sound investment in education is the backbone of a sound economy, and we are confident our government is aware of that,” Mr Duff said.


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