Higher spending flows into enhancing welfare of citizens
Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, reporting its public budget, said general expenditure came in at 2.47 billion yuan ($390 million) in 2017, of which 70 percent went to improving people's living conditions.
Statistics from the local finance bureau showed that total spending on bettering the lives of residents in the zone reached 1.73 billion yuan in 2017, up 22.2 percent year-on-year.
Significant investments were made in fields such as education, culture, healthcare and building eco-systems - to support a better quality of life for residents.
The zone's government revealed that about 250 million yuan was invested in school construction and expansion, to reduce student class sizes last year. New schools opened their doors, including Weifang Hansen School and Daguan School.
Dongming School's Dongfang extension welcomed 1,397 students in September. More than 700 young scholars were enrolled in 16 first-grade classes.
"Every item, including ceramic tiles and every piece of furniture was carefully selected," said Li Yuliang, principal of Dongming School. "We have to ensure every penny provided by the zone's government is well spent."
Apart from building more schools to reduce the number of students in classes, the zone has also provided more educational subsidies to students.
In 2017, every primary school student enjoyed a 1,210 yuan annual subsidy, up from 810 yuan in 2016. Students in junior high schools enjoyed a 1,510 yuan annual subsidy in 2017, up from 1,010 yuan in 2016.
In 2017, the zone also established 8 million yuan in funds to award teachers and principals in schools and kindergartens.
"The zone has long been investing heavily in boosting educational services, aiming at establishing a modern and balanced system and increasing the zone's position in the education sector," said Li Yun, director of the budget department in the zone's finance bureau.