Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Mystery over new school for Bay

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Finance Minister Bill English during his Budget 2016 presentation at the lock-up at Parliament, Wellington. Photo/NZME
Finance Minister Bill English during his Budget 2016 presentation at the lock-up at Parliament, Wellington. Photo/NZME

Tauranga is to get a new school but mystery surrounds where it will be built.

As part of yesterday's 2016 Budget announcement the Government announced $270.6 million to go towards nine new schools, 480 new classrooms, two school expansions and a rebuild of a kura kauapa Maori nationally.

Budget documentation revealed money from the Schools Property Growth Package will help deliver two new schools - one in Auckland and one in Tauranga.

It's not providing anything a state school doesn't provide. It's a drain on the public purse which is not fair on people.'
Ian Leckie

However, Parliament liaisons would not release any further detail on the school, or any other Tauranga or Western Bay of Plenty developments, before the Bay of Plenty Times went to press last night.

Recently retired Tahatai Coast principal, and NZEI member, Ian Leckie was critical of the announcement of the seven new schools and three school rebuilds and relocations that will be delivered through public-private partnerships.

"Charter schools was said to be an experiment. They are pouring money into it and they are extremely expensive schools and they persist with what we know doesn't work," Mr Leckie said.

''It's not providing anything a state school doesn't provide. It's a drain on the public purse which is not fair on people.''

The Government had also copped criticism after freezing schools' operational funding to instead target extra resources for disadvantaged students.

An extra $10m per year will go to about 150,000 at-risk students, defined as those from long-term welfare-dependent families.

"The targeted funding signals that we want to focus more discretionary education spending on the children at greatest risk of under-achievement," Education Minister Hekia Parata said.

"As a result, there will not be a general increase in school operational grants this year, but schools will continue to receive $1.38 billion in operations grants."

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Louise Green said teacher aides and most non-teaching staff were paid out of schools' operational grants, so this meant a third of the education workforce could again say goodbye to any hope of a much-needed pay rise.

Budget 2016: Education
- The Government will invest $11 billion in early childhood, primary and
secondary education in 2016/17. Together they will receive an extra $1.4 billion
over this year and the next four years, including:
- $397m to meeting growing demand for early childhood education and provide
places for a further 14,000 children.
- $883m for new schools property (as covered in the Infrastructure package).
- $43m for schools to target students most at risk for under-achieving.
- $42m for students with high and special educational needs.
- Support for around seven new Partnership Schools in 2018 and 2019.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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