$2.93 billion investment to lift educational achievement

The coalition Government is boosting education spending by $2.93 billion over the next four years to improve student outcomes, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.

"The investment includes extra funding for new classrooms, additional teacher support and early childhood education,” Ms Stanford says. 

“It also includes previously announced additional funding for structured literacy, more teachers, the school lunches programme, charter schools and period products in schools.

“Education has the power to change lives. We want every child to have the opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications they need to achieve their potential.” 

The additional funding increases the total investment in schools and early childhood education by 3.6 per cent in the coming year to $19.1 billion. Savings of $429 million within Vote Education have been redirected to higher priority frontline areas within education.

Key investments made in the Budget include an additional: 

  • $1.48 billion for education property
  • $478 million operating funding for Ka Ora Ka Ako to continue the Healthy School Lunches Programme for two more years, including $8 million to introduce a targeted early childhood food programme
  • $199 million over four years including a 3 percent increase for Schools Equity and Isolation Index based components and a 2.5 percent increase for the remaining components of school operating grants
  • $191 million over four years for a cost adjustment of 2 percent to the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Subsidy for under two-year-olds, ECE Subsidy for two-year-olds and over, 20 Hours ECE, and Equity Funding
  • $163 million over four years to support Digital Services in schools, including cyber security and equipment replacement
  • $153 million over four years to establish Charter Schools | Kura Hourua
  • $67 million over four years for the implementation of structured literacy in all state primary schools
  • $53 million over four years for teacher supply, retention, and attraction initiatives
  • $45 million over four years in funding for schools to support the rapid increase of ESOL students (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • $15 million over four years to increase funding for the School High Health Needs Fund
  • $13 million over four years to provide sustainable funding to Playcentre
  • $14 million over four years as ongoing funding for Ikura Period products in schools 
  • $32 million for Holidays Act Remediation for School Employees, based on an updated estimate of liability.

“The additional investment in school property, which includes funding for new schools and classrooms, school maintenance and depreciation will help ensure kids can learn in safe, warm and dry schools and that the school property portfolio can expand to accommodate more students. 

“This investment will also allow us to make repairs and upgrades to existing buildings improving these learning environments for students and their teachers.

“Together with the other investments we are making in education, these investments demonstrate the Government’s commitment to lifting student achievement.

“We’re determined to improve achievement for all children by establishing a knowledge-rich curriculum, improving reading and maths outcomes, implementing consistent ways of monitoring student progress, improving teacher training, providing better support to students with additional needs and making greater use of data.

“Budget 2024 is an important step along this path,” Ms Stanford says.