The government says it will review all the school properties it owns with a view to sell off or invest in more, in what could be a major shake-up of its education assets.
As part of the budget announcements on Thursday, Associate Education Minister Craig Foss said the review would be carried out by the end of the year.
More than 2300 schools on 8000 hectares are worth $10.2 billion - the second largest publicly owned estate, and the government says it will cost $2.3b to maintain over the next decade.
"Given this significant investment, it is important we know school property is being managed effectively," Mr Foss said.
The review will look at where to invest and divest in school property, who should be responsible for maintaining it.
The review would be carried out by an expert not associated with the school property portfolio and they would report back by the end of the year, Mr Foss said.
On Thursday, the government revealed it is planning to spend $12.4 billion on education in the coming year, a similar amount to last year. Of that $2.8b is spent on tertiary education and $9.6b on schools and early childhood education.
It says it will spend $512 million on new education initiatives in schools over the next four years.
Another $111m will be spent on early childhood education, in a bid to get 98 per cent of children taking part.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce also said those with student loans will have to repay 12 cents in the dollar, up from 10c on earnings over the repayment threshold, and it was removing the voluntary repayment bonus, saving $228m over four years.
Student allowances will also not be available for post-graduate students.
Mr Joyce said the government was committed to interest-free student loans but wanted to reduce the cost.