Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Call for Budget to meet children’s needs

Parents and teachers call for Budget to meet children’s needs

A majority of teachers and parents want this week’s budget to focus on smaller class sizes and ensuring that children most in need get targeted assistance.

NZEI Te Riu Roa is releasing a plan for alternative spending priorities ahead of the Government’s pre-election Budget this week. The Budget will include the controversial $359 million “Investing in Educational Success” initiative announced by the Prime Minister in January.

Targeting the funding to where it is most needed has the strong backing of the majority of teachers as well as parents, according to polling by NZEI.

“While out-of-school factors such as poverty are the biggest influencers of child’s success, there are some things that can be done within schools to help mitigate those disadvantages,” said NZEI President Judith Nowotarski.

“Smaller class sizes and more individualised learning benefits struggling children the most and that’s why we advocate increasing investment by at least $50 million a year in order to reduce class sizes.

“Likewise quality early childhood education is hugely beneficial particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“That’s why we propose a return to the target of 100 per cent qualified and registered early childhood teachers.”

The government dropped that target four years ago and now ECE services are only required to have 50 percent qualified and registered teachers and are only funded to a maximum of 80 percent qualified teachers.

“That was a very short-sighted move. The government’s focus has been on high participation rates at the expense of quality education. Our proposal is estimated to cost another $32 million a year.

Around three percent of students (around 30,000 children) have high special education needs but funding is rationed to only one percent of students. On top of this there are another 40-60,000 students with moderate special learning needs.

Sadly, without a little extra help, many of these children are at risk of failing at school.

NZEI proposes increasing the high level funding to three percent at a cost of $180 million a year to support 20,000 more kids.

NZEI also wants to see sustainable funding for support staff so that teachers can focus on teaching and learning. Currently schools are forced to fund teacher aides out of Operational Grants.

“Schools should not be forced to make a decision between buying computers and employing teacher aides to help vulnerable students.”

Ms Nowotarski says what’s interesting is that NZEI polling shows that parents as well as teachers support targeting extra funding at the areas that will make the biggest difference.

NZEI’s plan would amount to an extra investment of $320 million annually in quality public education. Ms Nowotarski said New Zealand currently invested less than the OECD average on education but there was strong public support for it being a top priority for public funding.

The increased investment could be partly offset by cutting funding from the government’s more radical and experimental policies, such as new tiers of management, charter schools and National Standards, she said.

Ms Nowotarski says this clearly shows that $133.4 million could be saved from experimental and dubious initiatives in order to help fund NZEI’s targeted plan.

NZEI’s Budget proposal

Smaller class sizes $50m
100% qualified early childhood teachers $32m
Increased special needs funding $180m
Living wage for school support staff $58m
Total $320m

The cost of government’s experimental initiatives

New teacher management tiers (IES) $90m (per year for four years)
Charter schools $14m (establishment + 2014 operational payment)
National Standards $29.4m (budget est. 2013/14)
Total $133.4m

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: A Govt. Christmas Bad News Dump -The Skycity Convention Center Blowout & A Negative MBIE Review

If the government really did have good tidings of great joy you can bet it wouldn’t be strewing them about at Christmas time – which is, traditionally, the dumping ground for terrible news that the government fervently hopes the public will be too distracted to notice. And so verily this Christmas Eve we learn of (a) the explosion of costs to the taxpayer and ratepayer of the vile SkyCity convention centre in Auckland and that (b) the government’s flagship MBIE “super-ministry” run by its Minister of Everything is a disaster zone of incompetence and mismanagement. MBIE is a Titanic looking for an iceberg, or so it would seem. More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news