Overcrowded schools highlight chronic underfunding

24 May 2017

The revelation that hundreds of schools are overcrowded has again highlighted the need for a huge increase in education funding, and shown that the data-focused government is not even getting the basics right.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said the overcrowding highlighted the chronic underfunding in every area of public education and urgently needed to be addressed in tomorrow’s Budget.

“A few years ago, the government attempted to increase class sizes to save money, but had to back down because parents and educators were outraged. By moving too slowly to accommodate population growth, larger class sizes are becoming a reality anyway.”

“The population growth data has been available and obvious for a long time, but the government has been far too slow to release funds for new schools and buildings.

“There is no excuse for school overcrowding that sees children trying to learn in halls, libraries and gymnasiums,” she said.

This week NZEI released data commissioned from Infometrics showing that a billion dollar boost is needed in Budget 2017 to preserve public education and ensure every child has the support they need to learn.

NZEI members chose the key measures based on evidence about which ones would have the most positive impact. These measures and the Infometrics costing can be found here.

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