Budget levels playing field for Catholic schools

The Catholic Education Board has called off its legal action against the Government.

The move comes following the 2021 Budget allocation of $52.8m, similar to the special capital maintenance payment given to State schools in 2020.

State Integrated schools were left out of that payment.

The payment will be made in two $26-million tranches over two years.

The association representing the proprietors of integrated Catholic schools (APIS) wrote to the school proprietors, boards of trustees and principals about the allocation to State Integrated schools in the budget.

In their letter, Dr Kevin Shore and Jenny Gordon discuss the provision for a one-off payment to state-integrated schools.

Shore and Gordon say the payment is an important recognition that state-integrated schools are part of the state’s provision of education and should participate equally in any provision the state makes.

“Quite simply, the $52.8 million is based on the 2020 state school per-student rate with a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $400,000.

“These details are yet to be agreed so this indication provides schools with some information to begin planning and identifying the projects they believe are deferred maintenance and important to the life of the school.

“Details of the projects likely to qualify will be the same as the state schools had in their distribution in 2020.”

“The process for [project’s seeking] approval is to be agreed with Ministry staff shortly. Funding will have a finite life of two years from the Budget date so it is important that we start planning soon to ensure that key tradespeople can be identified to complete the building project within the time frame.”

Gordon and Shore say they will clarify whether funds released in the second tranche for building projects must be approved and funded within the two year period.

They will also clarify whether the construction may be completed outside that time.

It is likely the funding will be given to proprietors who will work with each school community to deliver their entitlement to a project they have helped identify.

“We understand that there are a number of questions you will be seeking answers to,” Gordon and Shore note.

“As soon as we have met with the Ministry of Education we can respond to these questions through Zoom Q & A sessions.”

They acknowledge Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, for his promotion of this fund and for his willingness to ensure that it was settled in this budget.

“This is especially so given he is under pressure to fund other aspects of education.”

“The foundation is laid for us to continue to be partners in the maintenance of a strong state and state-integrated network of schools that deliver great education to our ākonga,” Gordon and Shore say.

APIS expects to have the detail to make definite planning a reality and to begin the delivery of projects shortly.


  • Supplied by Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools
  • Image: NZ Catholic
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