7 June, 2012
Teacher funding ratios to remain the same
Education Minister Hekia Parata has today moved to put parents’ and teachers’ minds at rest following decisions made in Budget 2012.
Ms Parata says the Government has decided not to make any change to teacher:student funding ratios.
“We have heard the concerns of parents and are reversing this part of our education plan.
“We are firmly focused on raising student achievement and getting five out of five of our kids succeeding and we continue to believe that investing in quality teaching and professional leadership is the best way to do this.
“We had thought that some modest changes to teacher:student funding ratios in Budget 2012 would help us fund this investment but over the past week, it has become apparent that these minor adjustments have caused a disproportionate amount of anxiety for parents, and that was never our intention.”
The changes to teacher:student funding ratios were to have saved the Government around $174 million over four years, of which $60 million was going to be invested in improving teaching quality and professional leadership. The Government will no longer be able to make that investment at this time.
This will leave a net shortfall of $114 million over the four-year Budget forecast period. This shortfall is made up of $15 million in 2013/14 rising to about $50 million in subsequent years. There is no cost in 2012/13.
“The remainder of the savings will be achieved through a combination of a pre-commitment against Budget 2013, and other savings we will work to find within Vote Education.
“The Government will take its time to work through those decisions in a balanced and considered way.
“Today’s changes will not affect the Government’s track to surplus in 2014/15.”
As announced in Budget 2012 the Government is investing an extra $511.9 million in education over the next four years. This takes the Government’s total investment in early childhood education and schooling to $9.6 billion for 2012/13.
“We remain committed to raising achievement and ensuring all our young people have the knowledge, skills and values to be successful in the 21st century,” Ms Parata says.
“We will work with the sector to address quality issues and lift student achievement. I am meeting with a number of sector organisations over the coming weeks.’’