Sunday, June 23, 2024

$300m schools investment to build 300 new classrooms

Budget 2023 builds on the Government’s record of investing in schools and improving the lives of young people right across New Zealand, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Education Minister Jan Tinetti said today.

“Since 2017 we have worked to fix the foundations of our education system by upgrading every school in the country and funding over 2,700 new classrooms to create 60,000 more student places,” said Prime Minister Hipkins.

“This new targeted funding will ease pressure on our education sector, helping to further fix years of underfunding, overcrowding and decay in schools and classrooms.”

He said Budget 2023 will build 300 more classrooms across the country, helping to ease existing pressures while accounting for future population growth.

“That creates 6,600 new student spaces to ease the pressure on school rolls, both in the short term with the immediate establishment of 2,200 places, and in the long term, with funding for a further 4,400 places to account for future roll growth.”

Targeted funding of $300 million from Budget 2023 will fund this further to support the sector’s needs, with $200 million for permanent roll growth, and $100 million to address shorter term pressures on school rolls, the PM said.

“An additional $100 million will be added to the education infrastructure funding pipeline, which will enable the construction of up to four new schools and new school expansions, the first two projects are in central Auckland and Papamoa, with the remaining two projects to be announced in due course. Adding to the 16 schools opened under this Government.”

Minister Tinetti said Budget 2023 builds on the Government’s commitment to getting the basics right.

“Schools and classrooms that are modern, warm, dry and fit for purpose make teaching easier, kids more comfortable and help to improve attendance and achievement,” she said.

“I have seen some of our aging, damp and cold classrooms up close, in fact I’ve taught in them. And it’s frankly not good enough. Previous Government’s may have been OK with that but we’re not.

“We want kids to look forward to coming to school and spending time in class, and parents to know their children are safe, well, and working to unlock their full potential.”

Further announcements will be made on Budget Day in relation to investment in education infrastructure to support the Kaupapa Māori and Māori medium education sectors, as part of a wider Māori Education Package in Budget 2023.

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