16th May 2011
For Immediate Release
Budget must treat education as an investment not a cost
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says this week’s Budget must deliver meaningful investment in education, not further cutbacks.
Last year’s massive budget cuts to early childhood education are already impacting on parents and families. Latest inflation figures show that early childhood fees rose 11.7% in the year to March as centres and kindergartens tried to absorb the funding drops.
“Families who are already struggling with higher living cost are bearing the brunt of those cuts and the end result will be that children will miss out on crucial early childhood education,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.
“This budget must not be used to launch further attacks on early childhood education. The government should recognise the value of early childhood education, do the right thing and reinstate the funding it removed.”
Schools will be looking to the Budget to deliver a much-needed boost in their operational funding as they battle increased costs. It would also allow them to better recognise the professional role support staff play in supporting children’s learning through improved pay and conditions.
“If the government is serious about supporting those children who are struggling it should put more money into the resources and programmes we already know work such as reading recovery and specialist teacher aides. $36 million dollars worth of National Standards will do nothing to raise student achievement,” says Mr Leckie.
“New Zealand has a great education system which we want to make excellent. That requires meaningful investment in the right areas, not cutbacks and misguided policy which move it in the wrong direction.”