Budget 2017 has delivered the largest injection of new money into education since the Government took office in 2008, with an additional $1.1 billion of new operating funding over the next four years, plus an additional $392.4 million of capital funding, Education Minister Nikki Kaye says.
“This is a significant investment in our children and in New Zealand’s future, designed to keep improving achievement and deliver the best results for our children,” Ms Kaye says.
There are a number of major investments as part of the new funding which include:
- Early childhood education providers will receive an additional $386 million of operating funding over the next four years. This will provide a further 31,000 early learning places over the next four years, as well as $35.5 million targeted toward supporting children most at risk of under achievement.
- Primary and secondary schools will receive $458.9 million of additional operating funding over the next four years, largely to meet increasing student numbers.
- $60.5 million will be used to boost schools’ Operational Grant Funding by 1.3 per cent, while schools with high numbers of at-risk students will receive an increase of 2.67 per cent in their Targeted At Risk Funding (bringing the total increase for this component to 4 per cent).
- A $456.5 million investment in school property with six new schools, the expansion of two schools, 11 special education satellite units and 305 new classrooms nationwide. This consists of $392.4 million of capital and $64.1 million of operating funding over the next four years.
- $63.3 million of operating funding over the next four years will be provided to support students with additional learning needs, including expanding specialist behavioural services.
- $7.6 million for Māori language curriculum resources, $9.4 million over four years to support students with English as another language through the ESOL programme and $810,000 for schools in Kaikoura over two years to support them following the November earthquake.
“This Government is committed to supporting all our schools and early learning services to deliver the best education possible to ensure that every young New Zealander has the opportunity to achieve,” Ms Kaye says.
“As part of this we need to continue the transformational work already taking place across the education system to make it more responsive to the individual needs of children to raise achievement and improve the life outcomes and employment opportunities for every young New Zealander.
“Our investment in education is already delivering results. More than 85 per cent of 18 year olds achieved NCEA Level 2 last year, and nearly 97 per cent of children are attending early childhood education.
“This new investment is about continuing those gains and ensuring that every child and young person is getting the education they deserve.”
The new funding takes the total operating expenditure for Vote Education for 2017/18 to $11.6 billion.