Hon Chris Hipkins

Minister of Education

17 May 2018

Hundreds of new classrooms and 1,500 new teachers

Budget 2018 represents a major step in the Coalition Government’s plan to rebuild the creaking schooling system, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

“We are not prepared to put our children’s education at risk. We have a plan to address growing roll numbers and overcrowded classrooms,” says Chris Hipkins.

“New capital investment of $394.9 million will fund new schools and hundreds of additional classrooms between 2018/19 and 2020/21. This Government is starting off in catch-up mode, but this is a significant first step.

“Budget 2018 allocates $62.0 million in new capital investment for the Christchurch Schools Rebuild programme.

“Nationwide, the School Growth Package of $332.4 million in capital will pay for new infrastructure for 7,400 students, including over 200 new classrooms.

“The two capital packages are complemented by $62.8 million of associated operating spending.

“Today we have also announced we will invest an additional $649.4 million of operating spending in the school system over the next four years, with $613.1 million going to schools and to address teacher supply issues. This is on top of our other announcements for learning support and early childhood education. This brings total new operating spending in Budget 2018 for schools and early childhood education to $1.58 billion over four years.

“To meet increasing population demand, $370.0 million will be used to fund 1,500 new teacher places by 2021. This is $71.8 million more than was funded by the previous Government.

“Alongside this, we are increasing schools’ operational funding by $203.6 million over the next four years, compared to $160.7 million in Budget 2017 – a 27 per cent increase. This is made up of $74.6 million for a 1.6 per cent cost adjustment to operational funding, plus $129.0 million to keep up with the growing number of students,” says Chris Hipkins.

Other highlights in operational funding for schools over the next four financial years include:

  • teacher supply package – $20.0 million
  • voluntary bonding scheme – $6.4 million
  • English for speakers of other languages schooling – $34.5 million.

“The new funding announced today for education takes total investment in the 2018/19 financial year to $12.26 billion, compared with $11.85 billion in the current year to 30 June.

“Budget 2018 is a solid start in the fight-back against the failed approach of recent years, when investment was routinely skimmed from vital public services such as education,” says Chris Hipkins.

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