Budget 2017 has delivered the largest ever investment into education. This reflects National’s commitment to building an education system that caters to individual children and helps each of them to succeed.
The Government’s record investment will deliver $458.9 million more operating funding (over four years) to primary and secondary schools, largely to meet increasing student numbers. $60.5 million will be used to boost schools’ Operational Grant Funding by 1.3%, while schools with high numbers of at-risk kids will receive just under 2.7% more funding (bring the total increase in this area to 4%).
South Canterbury PPTA President Jane Culhane says, “we’re absolutely thrilled that there’s been an increase in operational grants.”
Investing in school property
The Government has also made a $456.5 million investment in school property to build more classrooms and new schools. Budget 2017 delivers:
- Six new schools
- 305 new classrooms nationwide
- 11 new special education satellite units
- Expansion of two existing schools.
We inherited a property portfolio with an average age of 40 years. In addition to building new schools and classrooms, we’re prioritising extra funding to tackle earthquake strengthening, weather tightening and major redevelopments.
“This investment is vital for meeting the country’s projected population growth,” says Richard Forgan, PwC Partner.
Funding for students with additional learning needs
Budget 2017 also supports students with additional learning needs through a $63.3 million investment of operating funding over the next four years. This includes:
- $15.5 million for more teacher aide support to an extra 625 students per year
- $6 million to support young children with difficulties talking and listening.
Our investment in additional learning requirements fulfills the Government’s pledge to roll out in-class support to 4,000 students nationwide.
In addition, we’re allocating $7.6 million to Māori language curriculum resources, $9.4 million to support students with English as another language and $810,000 to support kids in Kaikoura following the November earthquake.
The National Government is determined to give as many young people as possible the strongest start in life. Our investment in children will additional needs is focused on doing exactly that.
Supporting Early Childhood Education
There’s no question, early childhood years are vital to a child’s development and their future ability to learn. Our investment will see early childhood education providers receive an additional $386 million of operating funding, which will provide a further 31,000 early learning places for Kiwi children. Around 2,000 early education providers will also receive $35.5 million to support children at risk of not achieving.
Our investment in education is delivering results with more than 85% of 18 year olds achieving NCEA Level 2 last year and nearly 97 per cent of youngsters attending early childhood education.
Our support for Kiwi kids brings total education funding in 2017/18 to $11.6 billion – a record investment focused on improving achievement and delivering a brighter future for every one of our children and our country.