Educators let down by allocations
Schools, preschools get small lift but feel big promises unmet
Schools and preschools have gained some relief to cope with inflation but they are asking what has happened to most of the promises the Labour Party made for education before the last election.
Operational funding for schools and preschools will increase from next January by 1.6 per cent, in line with inflation.
“It’s not going backwards,” said Secondary Principals Association president Mike Williams.
Children with the highest needs will get a more significant boost with 1000 more children qualifying for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS), up from 9049 last July, and more for English as a second language and for deaf and blind students.
But there is nothing new to tackle a desperate teacher shortage beyond continuing measures already announced last year.
Despite $470 million extra in the coming year for fees-free tertiary education and higher student allowances, funding for the tertiary institutions themselves has actually been cut by $12m because of lower than expected enrolments. Funding rates per student have been frozen.
And there is no sign of key preelection promises such as higher funding rates for preschools with 100 per cent qualified teachers, more careers advisers in schools or a $150 per student grant to schools that stop asking parents for “donations”.
NZ Educational Institute president Lynda Stuart, representing primary and preschool teachers, said the Budget was “just such a major disappointment”.
Tertiary Education Union president Sandra Grey said she was “massively disappointed”.
Universities NZ chairman Stuart McCutcheon said the tertiary funding