Education featured prominently in Budget 2014, with Education Minister Hekia Parata announcing new spending of $858 million over four years and the remainder of this year.
Of this, there were no surprises with the announcement that $359 million is destined for the Investing in Educational Success initiative (see here for a summary of IES).
Another large component of the Education budget is a total of $172.5 million of capital from the Future Investment Fund and $111.5 million of operating funding to be allocated over the next four years in new schools, classrooms and other school property improvements. Funding will help establish up to five new schools, acquire three new sites and expand one existing school.
Schools’ operational grants will also increase by two per cent at a cost of $85.3 million.
Early Childhood Education (ECE) was another clear winner in today’s Budget with a further $155.7 million over four years to be invested in ECE services in attempt to support an estimated 5800 more children to access ECE by June 2018.
Tertiary Education will see an additional $199 million investment, including $83.3 million allocated to lifting tuition subsidies in predominantly science and ICT- based disciplines.
However, Tertiary Education Union president Sandra Grey is disappointed at the lack of funding for regional polytechnics.
“Today's budget has scant new money for tertiary education, and what there is, is targeted at the minister's pet business projects, rather than the needs of most staff and students.”
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce announced an additional $53 million over four years would be spent to establish another three Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs).
There is also up to $20 million pegged for a further 6000 apprentices in the Apprenticeship Reboot programme.
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