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$857.8 million more to raise student achievement

$857.8 million more to raise student achievement

The Government will invest $857.8 million over the next four years and the remainder of this year for new education initiatives and sector support, Education Minister Hekia Parata says.

“Despite the tight fiscal environment, this will take total spending on early childhood, primary and secondary education to $10.1 billion in 2014/15,” Ms Parata says.

“This is a significant investment in our children and New Zealand’s future, and is part of a comprehensive range of practical measures in Budget 2014 to help families and children.

“Raising student achievement continues to be one of the Government’s top priorities and my colleagues have recognised this by supporting a further substantial boost to funding for early childhood and school education.”

Work is well under way setting up the flagship $359 million Investing in Educational Success programme announced by the Prime Minister in January, Ms Parata says.

“This initiative creates four new career roles to support the education profession and to build quality and consistency of teaching and leadership across the system.

“We have made a major commitment to raise student achievement by supporting quality teaching. We are also putting substantial extra funding into day-to-day operations and modern infrastructure for schools and early childhood education centres.

“This includes $85.3 million more for schools’ operational grants and a further $155.7 million for early childhood education, including an increase in funding rates.

“We are also investing an additional $111.5 million in operating funding and $172.5 million in capital funding over the next four years in a range of initiatives to maintain, improve and expand school property,” Ms Parata says.

Vote Education initiatives in Budget 2014 include:
· $359 million in operating funding over four years has been set aside for the Investing in Educational Success programme to strengthen leadership and quality teaching across schools, pending final decisions on the design of the scheme. The investment establishes new principal and teacher roles, a new allowance to get the best principals to the schools with the highest needs, and a $10 million teacher-led innovation fund. The new roles will help recognise highly capable teachers and principals with proven track records, keep good teachers in classrooms, share expertise across schools and among teachers and principals, and raise achievement for all students.
· An $85.3 million increase in schools’ operational grants over the next four years, to maintain the ongoing viability of state and state-integrated schools.
· An extra $155.7 million for early childhood education, including a $53.6 million increase in subsidy rates, which will help meet our target of 98 per cent of children participating in early childhood education before going to school.
· $172.5 million capital and $111.5 million of operating funding for school property development and maintenance over the next four years, including:
$172.5 million capital and $38.1 million operating funding for new schools and expansion on existing school sites.
$29.8 million of operating funding for the recently opened schools at Hobsonville Point in Auckland, procured through a public-private partnership development.
$16.9 million of operating funding for the property components of the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme.
$10.4 million to fund compensation claims to remediate leaky buildings, as well as building improvement activities to protect the value of Crown assets.
$8.5 million in 2014/15 to cover increased insurance premiums following the Canterbury earthquakes.
$7.8 million to improve management of the school property portfolio.
· $4.7 million of operating funding over four years to provide additional teacher aide support for students with high health needs to safely attend school.

Around 88 per cent of the operating cost of these initiatives is new funding. The rest – $85.1 million over four years and $16.3 million in 2013/14 – will come from reprioritisation within Vote Education.

“This is a matter of redirecting funds where they will have a bigger impact on student achievement,” Ms Parata says. “As the increases in operational grants to schools and in ECE subsidies show, we have been careful do this in a way that supports the frontline teachers.

“We are constantly reviewing where we get the most value for raising student achievement, just as we are asking schools and ECE providers to do.

“We want all our children and young people to have the best education possible, and we are investing to support that,” Ms Parata says.


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