Nearly $3b to education, decile changes and pay parity

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: RNZ
Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: RNZ
Nearly $3 billion of Budget cash is going towards the education sector as it moves away from the decile system and addresses pay parity issues.

There are also small increases for early learning funding and school operating costs; however, they are well under inflation.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said Budget 2022 would see $2b in operating expenditure and $855 million capital, with a focus on equity.

"We are increasing the amount for schools that have students facing equity challenges and replacing the outdated school decile system, which is a government commitment I am proud to be delivering," Hipkins said.

"Almost $300 million is being provided to implement a new Equity Index to replace the decile funding system. This includes $75 million per year in additional equity funding for schools with higher levels of socio-economic need."

Budget 2022 also increases spending around pay parity in early learning, between qualified, certificated teachers in education and care services and kindergarten teachers, Hipkins said.

A further $266m over four years builds on the $170m provided through Budget 2021 to help deliver pay parity, and $151m through Budget 2020 provided for improving teacher pay.

On top of that, funding has also been set aside to work with kōhanga reo to continue improving pay for kaimahi, Hipkins said.

The Supporting All Schools to Succeed (the reform of Tomorrow's Schools) programme would get $22.3m over four years to fund the first leadership adviser positions.

A detailed design of the new unified funding system was also being released for vocational education. of additional

The tertiary sector would get $266.9m over four years for a 2.75 per cent increase for tertiary tuition and training subsidies. Another $112.7m in funding ($40 million of which is from existing baselines) is also being made available to increase funding for enrolments.

Budget 2022 also includes a 2.75 per cent increase to funding rates in early learning services and a 2.75 per cent increase to schools' operational grants.

Over the next four years, this totals an additional $231.8m going into early learning and $184.4m going into schools and kura.

"The funding rate increases across the system make up a significant investment of over $750 million, going directly to education providers to support them to meet rising costs," Hipkins said.

There are also funding boosts for New Zealand Sign Language education, school transport, and an increase to boarding allowances.

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