Free GP visits for kids a good start, but nothing for schools
15 May 2014
The Government’s announcement of a boost to the paid parental leave scheme and free GP visits and prescriptions for children aged under 13 are the most positive aspects of this year’s Budget.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said the combined $281.8 for the policies was a welcome acknowledgement of the financial struggles many families face, because out-of-school factors such as health and family income are the biggest influences on children’s learning.
“It is good to see acknowledgement of the budget pressures that families face, but absolutely none of the priority education spending areas identified by parents and teachers have received a cent,” she said.
“Increases in education spending are more or less in line with inflation, although not keeping up with the increasing cost of delivering the 21st Century education that parents expect.”
“This government is basically telling schools to carry on driving our children’s education on the smell of an oily rag. As usual, parental donations and fundraising will be crucial to keep schools running.
“Today’s announcement is just a start on a range of measures that are needed if New Zealand is to increase student success and enable every child to reach their potential,” said Ms Nowotarski.