Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's education and lifestyle reporter.

Local principals' Budget wishlist revealed

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Patrick Walsh. PHOTO/FILE
Patrick Walsh. PHOTO/FILE

More funding to cover the cost of running schools and extra resourcing for special needs students are the stand-out contenders in local principals' Budget wishlist.

The Budget will be announced tomorrow and Rotorua principals are hoping to see money spent in areas that will help achieve a world-class education system for all New Zealand children.

John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh identified two major areas with funding shortfalls - schools' operational costs and resources for students with low to moderate special needs.

Mr Walsh said schools were increasingly having to ask parents for money which was "never a pleasant task".

"One of the two major areas I would like to see a funding increase for is the operational grants given to schools. It is never easy asking parents for more money and we are increasingly having to as the gap between the funding we are allocated and the actual cost of running a school widens.

"The other area I'd like to see more money go towards is resources and teacher aide time for students with low to moderate special needs.

Those with high needs are covered by Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding, but there is not enough funding to cover those who have not been identified as high needs and it is unfortunate to see them missing out."

Grant Henderson. PHOTO/FILE
Grant Henderson. PHOTO/FILE

Rotorua Principals' Association president and Ngakuru School principal Grant Henderson said he hoped this year's Budget would address the gap between funding and costs.

"If we do see that gap diminish I don't think any principal in town wouldn't be pleased."

Mr Henderson said he would also like to see resources allocated to learning science at the primary school level.

Kea St Specialist School principal Sherie Collins said more funding should be allocated to the running of schools, those at the highest end of special needs and infrastructure to build 2st century learning environments.

Brent Griffin. PHOTO/FILE
Brent Griffin. PHOTO/FILE

Western Heights Primary School principal Brent Griffin said while not strictly in the education sector, he wanted to see money poured into housing as a way to stop the growth of transient students.

"We have a high percentage of rentals in Western Heights and as a result we are seeing students moving from school to school. It takes a toll on the child's education because they are not with us long enough to reach their learning targets.

"If something is done to make it easier for people to own their own homes, we would see more families stay put in one area and children will have a chance to set and achieve long term goals in one school setting."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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