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Budget 2007: Extra teachers & schools

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Education

Extra teachers, schools further boost education
The Labour-led government is strengthening the education system by investing in hundreds of additional teachers, building new schools, and boosting funding for information technology, truancy and special education, said Education Minister Steve Maharey.

"More than half a billion dollars over four years is being invested in our young people through the education sector, continuing the Labour-led government's drive to ensure our school system remains among the best in the world.

"Building a world-class education system is the basis for transforming New Zealand's economy and society, and Budget 2007 gives schools even more resources to progress towards personalising learning in the 21st century."

Budget 2007 delivers:

• Improved Schools - $238.3 million of capital funding over 2007/08 to 2009/10 for school property includes building 14 new schools, 180 new classrooms and 10 new school gyms, modernising existing schools and development for kura and wharekura.

• Extra Teachers - $133.4 million over four years to provide 702 additional Year 1 teachers to bring the teacher:pupil ratio down to 1:18 by the start of the second term in 2008. This is designed to boost foundational literacy and numeracy for younger students and progress towards the 1:15 target.

• Operational funding - Up 4 per cent, with $233,000 in 2006/07 and a further $139.8 million over the next four years to target pressures identified in the review of operational funding, and other initiatives including relief teachers and schools sharing IT expertise. The increase is nearly 2 per cent above forecast inflation.

The government is also investing in Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) with $1.3 million in 2007/08 to fund laptops for teachers. $1.4 million will be spent on a two-year pilot leadership programme for aspiring principals.


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