WA’s education funding breaks records

education funding
Local primary school in Piara Waters, Western Australia

Education Minister Peter Collier today record education funding of $4.84 billion in the 2016-17 State Budget on primary and secondary public school education for the 2016-17 financial year – an increase of $81 million from last year.

Mr Collier said the Department of Education’s annual budget had increased by more than 70 per cent since 2007-08.

“This has ensured Western Australian public schools remain among the best resourced in the nation, with no other State spending more money per student,” he said.

“Based on projected student enrolments, the State Government will spend an average of $16,784 per full-time student in 2016-17, an increase of 41.8 per cent from 2007-08.”

Mr Collier said the Government would continue to invest heavily in education funding on new and improved schools.

“We are investing a further $1.089 billion over the next four years – including $300 million in 2016-17 alone – to build new schools and improve existing schools, with 14 new primary schools and seven new secondary schools to open by 2020,” he said.

“This increased spending reflects our ongoing commitment to providing an outstanding education for Western Australian students in the most modern facilities.

“Since 2009, we have spent $2.8 billion on 32 new primary schools, nine new secondary schools, 15 replacement schools, 1,424 new classrooms in other schools, and a host of upgrades to laboratories and workshops.”

Treasurer Mike Nahan said extra education funding had been allocated to ensure schools had the necessary teaching staff and resources to accommodate a predicted 13 per cent enrolment growth by 2021.

“As well as providing the very latest in learning environments, the Government is continuing to invest in technology, pastoral care, early childhood and school reform,” Dr Nahan said.

More than $7.5 million in dedicated education funding will increase the quality and availability of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

“In 2017 and 2018, the State Government will spend a further $10.48 million to provide access to school chaplains for every student,” the Treasurer said.

“Schools will also receive about $20.5 million in 2017 to meet the Western Australian Certificate of Education requirements for industry-ready vocational education and training qualifications.”

Mr Collier said education funding of $6.47 million over four years would allow up to 50 more schools to benefit from the greater autonomy of being an Independent Public School.

“We are also helping three-year-old Aboriginal children get the best start in life by allocating $8.7 million over three years to the groundbreaking KindiLink program at 37 public schools,” Mr Collier said.

“Western Australian public schools have never been better resourced to meet the individual needs of their students through the various reforms and initiatives the Liberal National Government has introduced.”

Fact File

  • Since 2009, $2.8 billion has been spent on 32 new primary schools, nine new secondary schools, 15 replacement schools and 1,424 new classrooms
  • The education Budget in 2007-08 was $2.843 billion and has increased by more than 70% or $1.99 billion over the past nine years
  • Per student funding is the highest of any State in the nation
  • WA Budget statements are available at http://ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au

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