Budget 2012 focuses on raising student achievement by investing $511.9 million of operating funding for new initiatives in education over the next four years, says Education Minister Hekia Parata.
This takes the Government’s total investment in early childhood education and schooling to $9.6 billion for 2012/13.
“Our education system is among the best in the world.
“Four out of five kids are successful and we must celebrate their success and the outstanding professionals in the education system who make that possible.
“But our education plan is about getting five out of five.
“We want to see 98 per cent of all new school entrants having participated in early childhood education, and at least 85 per cent of 18-year-olds achieving NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification in 2016.
“Reaching these goals means resources must be managed to get better results for all students. That is the focus of Budget 2012.”
The $511.9 million allocated to new frontline education initiatives ensures the Government continues to provide quality education to all learners and better target resources to priority groups.
“We know the single most important thing we can do to raise achievement is to improve teaching quality.
“We are setting aside an extra $59.8 million over the next four years to support the development of teachers and principals.
“This money is in addition to the $304 million we are spending on learning and development for professionals in primary and secondary education over the next four years.”
Participating in early childhood education before starting school has considerable benefits for children, especially those from vulnerable families, says Ms Parata.
Budget 2012 continues to target areas of high need, with $47.9 million in operating funding over the next four years invested in Equity Funding.
Early childhood education services will be expected to use Equity Funding to increase the participation of children from priority groups, for example, by keeping fees low for vulnerable families, and encouraging and supporting families to actively engage with the early learning outcomes of their children.
“We have tripled the value of the Equity Funding pool since 2011.”
A further $19.1 million in operating funding will be invested over four years to support MÄori medium ECE services.
Budget 2012 also targets $82.6 million of operating funding over the next four years to schools’ operational grants, giving them the flexibility to provide resources based on the needs of their students.
“The $511.9 million of new spending over the next four years will ensure we can continue to provide quality education to all learners and better target resources to raise achievement for all.”
New initiatives in Vote Education over the next four years include:
$59.8 million to invest in teacher quality to support the development of teachers and principals.
$82.6 million to increase schools’ operations grants.
$33.8 million capital funding in 2012/13 and $16.8 million operating funding over the next four years for the expansion of the School Network Upgrade Project, to upgrade schools’ internal ICT infrastructure.
$59.4 million over the next four years for operational funding which includes:
$4.2 million for assistive technology for learners with special education needs.
$15 million to fully implement Positive Behaviour for Learning in 2012/13.
$4 million for extra parenting programmes and relationship education in schools.
$15.4 million operating funding for the Prime Minister’s youth mental health initiatives.
$8.5 million targeted for the alignment of achievement standards to Te MÄrautanga o Aotearoa.
$3.1 million for extra staffing for composite schools.
Funding in Budget 2012 will improve education outcomes for priority groups by:
Targeted cost adjustments for ECE equity funding of $47.9 million in new operating funding over the next four years.
$19.1 million over the next four years to improve access to MÄori immersion ECE services.
$33 million in operating funding over the next four years for initiatives to accelerate achievement for priority learners.
Source: Office of Hekia Parata.