Budget 2019: Mixed views from educators on new funding

There are mixed views on the Budget's funding allocations from those representing New Zealand's educators.

On Thursday, the Government's revealed it's Wellbeing Budget which committed hundreds of millions of dollars towards new schools, replacing parental donations and vocational education reform.

Principal's Federation President Whetu Cormick said schools are chronically underfunded in New Zealand, so any extra funding would be put to good use.

"There's an extra 1.8 percent in funding that is coming to schools," he told Newshub.

"[I understand that] is about 0.3 percent above inflation so the Ministry is trying to keep ahead. They have this new ten year plan for property redevelopment which is great."

That redevelopment programme has been allocated $1.2 billion so new schools and classrooms can be planned over the next decade.

There's also a specific focus on Māori and Pasifika students, including $27.4 million over four years towards helping ensure Pasifika students are in education.

But the Tertiary Education Union's national secretary Sharn Riggs told Newshub the tertiary sector was left underwhelmed, with the Budget not addressing long-term issues.

"The sector has been consistently under-funded over the last 10-15 years, and now we are in a situation where we are at crisis point, particularly in the polytechnic sector," she said.

The vocational education sector is getting an already announced rejig, with the Government having already redirected a leftover $197 million from its fees-free policy to the sector.

But Riggs says there's little else.

"We are disappointed that hasn't been a substantial look at trying to invest in our sector because we are such a key component of the future of the country."

She says for the country's overall wellbeing to be improved, new addiction counselors, social workers, Pasifika nurses and builders need to be trained at tertiary education providers.

Other key education announcements include that the $76.70 NCEA fee will be removed and $256.6 million being put aside to provide payment of $150 per student to decile 1-7 state and state-integrated schools that "agree not to request donations from parents".  


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