Education investment has positive results
It has been great catching up with a lot of South Waikato constituents recently at the post-budget forums I have hosted in Tokoroa, as well as in Taupo and Cambridge. There was a great turnout and I thank those of you who came along to find out more about Budget 2015.
As part of Budget 2015 we made a number of announcements, and I would like to share with you some of things the National Government is doing for the younger generations in our region.
Investing in education means investing in the future of Kiwi children.
This is something that I believe not only as your Member of Parliament, but also as a mother of school-age children.
Budget 2015 will take total spending on early childhood (ECE), primary, and secondary education to $ 10.8 billion in 2015/16, and provide $113 million more over four years for tertiary education.
This includes $74.9m more for ECE over the next four years so more children will be able to attend ECE from an earlier age, for more hours.
Over the past four years, the number of children participating in ECE has risen almost 7 per cent.
In our schools, the proportion of 18- year- olds achieving NCEA Level 2 has risen from 68 per cent to an estimated 81 per cent since 2008.
These are great results, but we know we can always do more.
National wants to help those lagging behind, especially Maori and Pasifika children, children from poorer families, and with special education needs.
More than $4m will enable the ‘‘Count Me In’’ programme to support about 2000 Ma¯ori and Pasifika 16 to 18-year-olds who have left school, to re-engage with education or begin vocational training, and help the ‘‘Year 9 Plus’’ trial assign educational champions to the most vulnerable students
Ensuring every child gets a good education is one of the most important things National can do to raise living standards, and build a more competitive and productive economy.