New-entrant class size cut to 15
6:00AM Friday May 23, 2008
By Martha McKenzie-Minifie

The promise to reduce new-entrant classes to 15 students to one teacher is set to be delivered, with a $212.5 million funding boost over four years.

Many in the sector expected the ratio to come in last year's Budget - when funding for 18 students to one teacher was announced instead.

Auckland Primary Principals Association president Owen Alexander said a critical shortage of staff in Auckland could cause problems, despite a national staffing survey showing schools had 99 per cent of teaching positions filled at the start of the year.

Education Minister Chris Carter said the money would pay for 762 more teachers, and lower class sizes would help to ensure new entrants the best possible start to school.

The Budget awarded schools a $171.6 million rise over four years in operations grant funding - or about 5 per cent more - which teacher unions and principals said was too small.

The school property and special education initiatives were also allocated money and an extra $63.6 million over four years was pledged to help early childhood services meet increased costs.

From here .