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Schools get extra $156m over next four years

Schools get extra $156m over next four years

New Zealand schools will benefit from significant extra Budget funding, as the Government invests in priority frontline areas that most benefit students, Education Minister Anne Tolley says.

“In a tight economic environment, the Budget allocates an extra $1.4 billion to education over four years and increases operational funding for schools by 4 per cent, well above the rate of inflation.

“That means an additional $155.9 million for schools over four years, which shows our commitment to lifting student achievement and giving every single young New Zealander the opportunity to reach their potential.

“All children must have a chance to succeed and this funding boost for the frontline gives schools the flexibility and resources to best meet the needs of students as we lift the bar for educational achievement in this country.”

Budget 2010 highlights for schools include:

• A 4 per cent - or $155.9 million – increase in new funding, in operational grants for schools over four years.

• $349.3 million in new operating and capital funding over four years for school property. This includes funding for building new schools and improving existing school buildings. In 2010/11, $82 million will go towards remedial work on leaky school buildings and $40 million over four years to reduce surplus school property and remove unsightly buildings from vacant school sites.

• $48.1 million for the Youth Guarantee over four years, which will raise the number of places available from 2000 to 2500 next year and in ongoing years.

• $15 million over two years to support the Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan, by making more training available for parents and teachers in the highly successful Incredible Years training programme.

• $14.7 million over four years to align staffing in area schools for years 7 and 8 students with other contributing and intermediate schools.

“This increased funding for schools delivers on promises made last year to provide more resources and allow better flexibility in how schools can use resources to raise skills and achievement levels,” Mrs Tolley says.

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“The Government’s continuing focus on frontline services means we will not pursue the school staffing reductions signalled in last year’s Budget.”

In addition to Budget investments, schools will benefit from the introduction of an unused staffing entitlement. This means a school that has not used all of its staffing entitlement by the end of the year will receive a cash reimbursement, limited to 10 per cent of its total staffing entitlement.

“This change, which will cost Government $10 million a year, will ensure schools receive all of the resources they are entitled to,” Mrs Tolley says.

“To ensure funding is directed to where it is really needed, schools with students in Years 9-13 will have their operational funding allocated using quarterly rather than annual roll counts from 2011.

“This will encourage secondary schools to engage and retain students, one of the main aims of the Youth Guarantee, and improve the accuracy of school operational funding.

“Budget 2010 has targeted funding to the frontline where it matters the most. This is where our investments will make the biggest difference in lifting student achievement - benefiting young New Zealanders and the whole country.”

ENDS


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