Education ($813.6 million operating total and $115.1 million total capital)
New Zealand's education system is internationally high-performing and our total public expenditure on education is one of the highest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, we know there are opportunities to better serve students and parents living in poverty and from diverse backgrounds, including Māori and Pacific students, students with disabilities and students who come from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The Budget package provides substantial universal support to students across all levels of education, while also targeting investment in areas that we know will benefit students who need it the most.
Key initiatives in this area include:
- Funding for the Education Sector ($375.1 million operating total). Budget 2020 includes funding for Early Childhood Education (ECE) subsidies, Schools Operations Grants, Trades Academies and Tertiary Education subsidies. This will enable education providers to maintain existing levels of quality in the face of rising costs.
- Learning Support ($79.7 million operating total). This package includes funding to maintain learning support service delivery for a broad range of services, which face increasing price and demand pressures. The package also provides funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages teaching staff and delivers funding for the School High Health Needs Fund (SHHNF) which offers teachers' aide support for students with high health needs.
- School Property Investment ($119.5 million operating total and $115.4 million total capital). This package includes four initiatives that will help expand, maintain and enhance the quality of the School Property portfolio in Public, and Private Partnership schools. While students' physical learning environment does not determine their success, it provides the necessary foundations in which quality teaching and learning can occur.
- Early Learning Education Package ($291.6 million operating total). In addition to providing funding across all levels of the education sector, Budget 2020 also funds an early learning package. This provides for a 3.5 per cent increase to qualified and certificated ECE teachers' pay, ongoing funding for Kōhanga Reo to meet staffing cost pressures and additional support for home-based educators to transition to a minimum Level 4 ECE qualification. This package also invests in playcentre sustainability and funds the Early Childhood Education Provider Assessment Group so that it can continue its role maintaining regulatory stewardship.