The combined figure is down about 7.7 percent from 7,594 teachers in 2012, though a total of 8,520 native English teachers were employed in public schools last year including other budgets. The Ministry of Education estimated that 340.8 billion won ($309.5 million) was spent on native English teacher programs nationwide, but could not yet provide an estimate for the 2013 school year, which started at the beginning of March.
The Ministry of Education leaves it up to provincial and city governments to decide how many native English teachers to employ. Gyeonggi Province began reducing its number of secondary school NETs in 2009 except in rural areas, and handing the classes over to Korean teachers it deems English-proficient. In Seoul City, a total phaseout excluding specialized schools was announced in late 2011 with a 2014 completion date, and officials say it is running as scheduled. Both regions still utilize native English teachers in elementary schools.