24 May 2012
For Immediate Release
Budget confirms bigger class sizes and lack of investment in children
For the first time in decades, New Zealand children will be faced with bigger class sizes and a freeze on the number of teachers being employed.
This year’s Budget represents not only a lost opportunity to invest in children but it goes further. Children will be paying the price of government cost-cutting, says NZEI National President, Ian Leckie.
“We’re looking to a future of bigger class sizes for all children. Intermediate schools will be struggling to provide quality technology subjects to their students.”
Parents of young children need to brace themselves for further cost increases in early childhood education following this year’s Budget.
Quite frankly, there’s not much to be optimistic about in this Budget, says Mr Leckie.
NZEI executive member, Hayley Whitaker says effectively the early childhood education sector is facing a funding freeze for the third year in a row.
She says this must impact on costs to parents.
“Last year the CPI showed that the cost of fees to parents of early childhood education went up by 12 percent. Clearly parents will have to dip into their pockets again this year.
“While we welcome the setting aside of $19 million for Maori ECE funding and increased equity funding targeted to high needs families, those initiatives should not be at the expense of other children.”
“Targeted funding to help disadvantaged families is always welcome. But it should be on top of adequate universal funding.”