The Government is to pump $95 million into training 2480 additional new teachers.
In a pre-Budget announcement today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced $95m would go towards a range of initiatives to address the teacher shortage.
But the Post Primary Teachers' Association said it was a bandaid that would barely cover student roll growth or replace leaving teachers, nor would it ease the ongoing industrial dispute the union has with the Government.
The initiatives will support a total of 3280 teachers over the next four years, and will include incentives such as scholarships and contributions to the cost of living for students.
"Our commitment towards thousands of additional teachers will be a shot in the arm to our schools," Hipkins said in a statement.
Budget 19 funds 2480 additional trainee teacher places through:
• 1860 TeachNZ scholarships - fees and living costs for trainees studying in hard to staff subject areas,
• 300 Teach First NZ places to recruit graduates and professionals into low decile secondary schools where they teach while completing a postgraduate degree,
• 240 places in a new employment-based teacher education programme for secondary teachers, and
• 80 iwi-based scholarships.
It also supports 800 more beginning teachers into their first roles through the National Beginning Teacher Grant and the Voluntary Bonding Scheme expansion.
Earlier this year there was an increase in students going into the teaching profession, following a disastrous 43 per cent slump in the six years to 2016.
That six-year slump has led to a record teacher shortage, which the Government has filled by bringing in 225 foreign teachers.
Almost one in every six Auckland schools started the school year this year with teaching vacancies.
"Schools are crying out for more teachers," Hipkins said.
"More teachers will help with the quality of teaching and education our children receive.
"The funding also supports strengthened Teaching Council requirements that will improve teaching quality such as the increased length of student placements in schools and are expected to lead to better preparation of graduating teachers."
The Government will also partner with iwi to address the shortage of teachers skilled in te reo Māori through regional scholarships for Māori students to train and remain in the profession.
PPTA president Jack Boyle said the announcement would only "maintain the current level of delivery in our schools".
"The reason there are teacher shortages are threefold: the salary isn't competitive with other careers, teacher workload is unreasonably high and the attrition rate for newly graduated teachers is nearing the 50 percent mark within five years.
"A more holistic approach will be needed to address the issues our profession faces. Saying you'll magic up a couple of thousand more teachers without addressing the underlying reasons why there's a teacher shortage in the first place is counter-productive."
National Party education spokeswoman Nikki Kaye said the extra teachers would still fall short of the required number of teachers for the coming years by "thousands".
"Without resolving collective bargaining issues around pay and workload, providing further incentives for teachers who have the left the profession to come back, and doing more to urgently increase the number of people in teacher training, we will be thousands of teachers short in classrooms over the coming years."
Act leader David Seymour said the money would be better spent boosting teachers' salaries.
"Paying good teachers more would be a much better way of encouraging people into the profession."
Breakdown of the funding:
• Development of more employment-based initial teacher education (ITE) for secondary: $11.7m
• Teach First NZ for secondary schools: $16.2m
• Support for ITE providers to meet new and strengthen Teaching Council requirements: $24.6m
• Returning New Zealand and overseas Trained Teacher Recruitment support for secondary and primary teachers: $5.9m
• Overseas Relocation Grant for secondary and primary teachers: $6.6m
• Finders Fee for secondary and primary schools: $2.4m
• Expanded TeachNZ scholarships Fund for primary and secondary: $13.3m
• Expanded Bilingual Education Award for primary and secondary: $720,000
• Co-design of Iwi Based Scholarships Programme for primary and secondary: $800,000
• National Beginning Teacher Induction Grant for secondary and primary schools: $4m
• Voluntary Bonding Scheme expansion: $4.2m
• Reach and Engagement to implement Teacher Supply Initiatives: $2.3m
• Analysis and evaluation: $2.4m