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Government’s Education Budget Heavy On Promises But Light On Delivery

The Government’s Budget presented today is not the investment into the frontline for secondary education that we were promised, says Chris Abercrombie,president of PPTA Te Wehengarua.

“We were promised a lot by the Minister and our expectations were pretty high in terms of more funding, for example, for schools’ operation grants and professional learning and development for secondary teachers. That has not eventuated. Increases to school operations grants are for instance below inflation, leaving them worse off in real terms.

“For a government that claims that one of its top priorities is education, today’s Budget is a big let down – particularly in the face of significant roll increases due to increases in immigration.

“The highlight of the Education announcements is property, which is necessary, but it is people that are the most important investment in education.”

“There is nothing significant for improving school attendance when we have significant work to do to re-engage students who have not attended school regularly as a result of COVID.”

“Teachers need PLD to ensure they can be culturally responsive in their teaching and develop the use of te reo and tikanga Māori. Schools can’t do this on their own, the government needs to support them to meet obligations under Te Tiriti.

Chris Abercrombie said the Budget further demonstrated that Aotearoa New Zealand cannot afford charter schools. “Funnelling $153 million into an unproven experiment at a time when the government cannot even keep local schools’ operation grants up with inflation is irresponsbile – and immoral.

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Despite the Minister promising that funding will be the same for charter schools as state schools, the budget announcement that charter schools will be able to dip into the funding for period products in schools shows that this is false.

“Kiwi Mums and Dads expect their hard earned tax to be spent on ensuring their children receive a quality education at their local school. The vast majority of Kiwi parents send their children to state schools and would far prefer that they be funded and resourced fully rather than setting up a separate system, funded by taxpayers, but not requried to teach the national curriculum or hire only regsitered and trained teachers.

“The Finance Minister and Prime Minister both promised a Budget dedicated to more funding for frontline services – secondary schools are one of the key frontline services in our country and wehave been let down badly today.”

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