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B2000: Schools get huge funding boost

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

15 June 2000

Schools get huge funding boost

There will be $60 million extra to run schools next year, says Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

"This is a 7.4% increase in operational funding which is the most significant extra injection of funds into schools there has ever been in any one year," Trevor Mallard said. "Of that $45 million comes from abolishing bulk funding, increasing the pool, and distributing it more equitably across all schools – not just the 32% of schools that opted for bulk funding.

"The Government has also increased the base school operation grants by almost $15 million a year and has made a commitment to annually increase operation grants in line with inflation rather than leave it up to whim each year. This will provide schools with more certainty. Schools will be sent the formula from which their budget next year will be established by the end of August. More than three-quarters of schools are likely to be better off next year. Some bulk funded schools will get less in their budget as a result of receiving an inequitable share of funding through the bulk funding system.

"Schools will enjoy much of the flexibility that bulk funding has allowed. They will be able to use the extra money however they choose – for management units, extra staff, specialist resources. The difference is that we are ensuring a base level of staffing in all schools. I think that is really important if we want quality throughout our school system."

Trevor Mallard also announced a huge increase in property funding for schools.

"Over the next two years, the Government will spend $638 million on school property – an $88 million increase on last year's funding. It will provide for 220 new classrooms, as well as funding to buy 16 new sites for schools and pay for 12 new schools to be opened by 2004.

"Ninety million dollars of the funding will be allocated for a modernisation programme. Schools will develop their own five-year agreement for capital works and maintenance priorities. The system will provide more certainty, flexibility, transparency, and equity. Four hundred and fifty schools will start on this programme next year and receive an average of $215,000 each for major works," Trevor Mallard said.


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