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Budget delivers extra $715 million for education

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

Budget delivers extra $715 million for education

This year’s budget sees an increase of $715 million annually in new spending for education by 2006-07 to bring the total to $8.6 billion in that year, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

“Budget 2003 provides further resources for an all inclusive education system that helps us as a nation and as individuals, achieve to our full potential,” Trevor Mallard said.

“We want to create an educational environment with opportunities for all, whether they are toddlers at an early childhood centre, teenagers taking subjects in the NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement), or adults participating in distance learning.

“We do have a good education system but we must keep investing in it to make it a great one.

“Clearly we need an education system that readily equips New Zealanders with 21st century skills and secondly, that reduces the level of under-achievement experienced by some groups in the education system. These are this government’s two top education priorities.

“Our educational institutions need to adapt quickly to social and economic change, embrace new ways of doing things, be technologically capable and focus on continual improvement in teaching and learning.

“We also need to ensure all our learners have the opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability. Being Mäori, Pasifika, coming from a poor home or having a special need is no reason for failure,” Trevor Mallard said.

The new education spending equates to increases of $393 million for 2003-04, $479 million for 2004-05, $617 million for 2005-06 and $715 million for 2006-07, over education spending in 2002-03.

The Budget Education 2003 initiatives include:
- New funding of $61.2 million over four years to increase operational funding to schools. The extra $17.5 million per school year involves a 2 per cent increase to per-pupil funding and most other components;
- $78 million in new spending to develop ICT infrastructure and networks, to increase teacher ICT capability and the use of ICT in the classroom, and to enable schools to connect with one another, the Internet, and to the Ministry of Education;
- New funding of $55 million over four years will be invested in early childhood education to ensure more children can access quality education before they get to school;
- $15 million extra over four years to improve literacy teaching;
- $400.7 million is available for new school property works in 2003-04, an increase of $108.6 million over 2002-03, to support roll growth and upgrade existing schools.

“This year the government will also initiate an in-depth discussion with the education sector about how secondary schooling will meet the needs of students in 15 to 20 years time. We want it to be a process that is equally owned by the sector, and have set aside $1 million over two years for it to take place,” Trevor Mallard said.

Pre-budget education announcements included:
- An extra 774 teaching positions will be established in schools from the beginning of 2004 with new funding of nearly $167 million over four years;
- More than $22 million in new funding for teacher supply initiatives, bringing total funding to over $66 million for these initiatives for the same period;
- $2.645 million over four years to develop effective and best practice teaching for all students, particularly Mäori and Pasifika;
- $78 million in new spending supporting the implementation of the NCEA and administration of other qualifications.

ENDS


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