14 May 2013

Education leaders hope for more from Budget

7:45 am on 14 May 2013

Education groups are hoping for an end to austerity when the Budget is announced on Thursday.

Though the Government has managed to find money for a range of initiatives in the more than $12 billion it spends on education each year, it has has kept a tight rein on the annual increases that help base funding rates keep pace with inflation.

Early childhood centres got no increase to their base subsidies last year, and nor did universities, polytechnics, and wananga unless they offered science and engineering courses.

Sector leaders say they do not want another year of frozen funding rates while inflation raises their expenses.

Schools have received small annual increases in previous budgets but they too say their funding is not keeping up with their costs.

Principals Federation president Philip Harding says the annual adjustments are not enough as costs for things like ICT infrastructure and hardware spiral.

Mr Harding says schools have not forgotten the Government's failed attempt to save money by increasing class sizes and they worry it might try something similar again this year.