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Some relief for schools funding – but no rejoicing

Some relief for schools funding – but no rejoicing

The New Zealand School Trustees Association has welcomed the 4% increase in operational funding for schools announced in the budget.

NZSTA President Lorraine Kerr says the increase will provide a measure of interim relief member boards have been looking for.

“However, we need to remember that, with inflation running around 2.6%, this represents a mere 1.4% extra relief above inflation.”

Lorraine Kerr says it is pleasing to note that most of the issues NZSTA has raised with the Minister as needing some urgent relief have been specifically addressed in the 2007 budget, including relief teacher funding for secondary schools ($5.5 million over 4 years) and ICT cluster costs ($1.9 million over 2 years).

“But the increase delivered through today’s budget must be seen as a short term, temporary solution.

“We must not lose sight of the bigger picture - which is that schools operations funding is still not meeting the true costs of running a school. There is a very real and significant gap between operations funding and the true costs of running a school,” says Lorraine Kerr.

She says in the longer term it is crucial that the Ministry of Education’s Operational Funding Review delivers some clarity on the real costs of running a school in 2007/08 and beyond, and that the government delivers the dollars to enable boards to get on with their job.

Lorraine Kerr says that there is still a high expectation that the Funding Review will result in the government addressing the big outstanding operations grant adequacy issues in the 2008 budget.


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