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Budget focus on frontline funding for schools

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Education

28 May 2009


Budget focus on frontline funding for schools

Budget 2009 allocates significant additional funding to ensure New Zealand’s school system is better equipped to help every child climb the ladder of opportunity.

“New Zealanders have a right to expect that our schools will be up to the task of providing our children with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed,” Education Minister Anne Tolley says.

“This Budget recognises the urgent and overdue need to plan for the future by expanding and future-proofing existing schools and building new ones.

“An additional $325.6 million will be provided over the next four years to do this. The building programme will be backed up by $197.7 million in additional operating funding to support these schools.

“This Government is also working hard to ensure that over time a greater proportion of education funding is invested at the front line in our schools and that less is tied up in the bureaucracy.

“Budget 2009 begins that process by providing additional frontline funding into the hands of schools to help them raise the achievement of their students.”

This funding includes:

• $80.1 million to help schools meet pressures on their day-to-day resources by adjusting the school operational grant for inflation.

• $9.6 million (between 2008/09 and 2010/13) to help schools meet their day-to-day heating, water and lighting costs.

• $36 million to support the Government’s Crusade for Literacy and Numeracy and to boost schools’ efforts to help students not meeting national standards in literacy and numeracy.

• $19.9 million to extend the Te Kotahitanga professional development programme for teachers to more schools and for professional development programmes for principals that focus on raising Maori students’ achievement.

• $16 million to help schools fight truancy on the frontline.

• A $12.6 million reduction in the levy the Government charges schools for international students.

• $35 million to help make independent schools more affordable for more parents.

The Budget also improves the resources available to students with behavioural issues and special education needs:

• $51 million is provided to increase the amount of Ongoing Reviewable Resourcing Schemes (ORRS) funding available for children with the highest special education needs. This will relieve pressure on money available for children with more moderate special education needs.

• $8 million is provided to increase the Interim Response Fund, which provides support to schools when a student’s behaviour reaches crisis point.

The Budget also supports National’s commitment to ensure New Zealand’s school qualifications system, the NCEA, is robust, credible and fair with:

• $10.9 million to maintain the current number of NCEA moderators to ensure consistency of NCEA standards across schools.

• $8 million to ensure NCEA assessment tools are of a high-standard and well understood by teachers.

“These education priorities have been funded through the addition of new funds and the re-prioritisation of existing funds,” Mrs Tolley says.

“Strengthening the education ladder of opportunity is a driving goal of the National-led Government and Budget 2009 demonstrates that commitment.”

ENDS

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