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Call for full funding for quake-hit schools - NZEI

Call for full funding for quake-hit schools and ECE centres until end of 2012

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is officially calling on the government to extend full staffing and funding to earthquake-affected schools and early childhood centres in Canterbury until the end of next year.

At its Annual Meeting serious concern was expressed about the impact significant roll drops will have on staffing levels and the viability of some schools and early childhood centres. A resolution was passed calling on the government to maintain staffing and funding levels to Canterbury schools and early childhood centre affected by the quake through until the end of 2012.

The government has said it will extend full funding to schools until the end of this year, but says funding for next year will be based on July 1 enrolment numbers.

“That will mean hundreds of jobs will go and there will be long-term implications for the future of education in Canterbury,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.

“The issue is even more urgent for dozens of early childhood centres which have been given no guarantees about their funding, even for the remainder of this year. Many are being left with no choice but to close their doors and the end result is that children will miss out on vital early education”.

NZEI believes retaining a quality teaching workforce is essential to the Canterbury rebuild.

“Principals, teachers and support staff also fulfil an important social role in many traumatised and damaged communities. Students are going to need extra help and attention for a long time to come. The extraordinary circumstances in Christchurch call for an extraordinary response,” says Mr Leckie.

NZEI will continue to work closely with schools, ECE centres and communities, along with the Ministry of Education to push for sustained funding, staffing and resources.

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