BUDGET - Delivering Equitable and High Quality Education Thu 23 May 2013 Minister for Education and Skills The State Government has committed $1.3 billion in the 2013-14 State Budget for education and training. The Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim, said today that the funding will lay the necessary foundation for the State Government to achieve improved educational outcomes in the State. “Education can change people’s lives and can change communities. “It is for this reason, that $83 million (over 4 years) has been provided in the Budget to implement the response to the reforms advocated by the Gonski Report. “The funding will ensure that students that are falling behind have the support and resources needed to succeed,” he said. Mr McKim said the Tasmanian Education Funding Reform package was intended to provide needs-based funding and improved resources to where they were needed most. “This will be delivered through high quality teaching and learning, empowered school leadership and improved transparency and accountability for the education outcomes of students from all backgrounds. “The provision of quality education is fundamental to the Tasmanian Government’s overarching vision of improving educational opportunities and access for all,” he said. Mr McKim said the Budget also included $65 million over the next four years including $22 million in 2013-14 for infrastructure projects across the whole the State.“This will include an additional 11 new projects across the state which will revitalise schools in local communities, help create jobs and drive local economies. “The Government is supporting Year 11 and 12 Regional Education with an injection of $900,000 over the next four years to ensure that learners can continue to access high quality education regardless of where they live in Tasmania. “The action plan will also allow for: • Regional high schools and their communities to express interest in accessing the $2.3 million available in the this year’s Budget for the School Transition Fund to develop facilities to assist them in the delivery of Years 11 and 12 in their local area. • The provision of $3.1million over three years as endorsed by the Skills Tasmania Board for a VET eStrategy that will support a range of learning models for all Tasmanians including those 15-19 year olds in regional Tasmania. “It is important that that curriculum provision and structures are in place to support young people to continue their education and training in their local community. “Some rural students find the travel, dislocation from friends and the unfamiliar learning environment as insurmountable problems that result in them withdrawing from education. “The State Government’s goal is to ensure that we engage rural students in educational pathways until they gain a qualification and can reach their full potential,” he said. Mr McKim said that $1.5 million in the Budget will support the continuous improvement in literacy and numeracy. “This is part of a total funding commitment of $4.8 million that will be spent over the next three years on the development of whole school approaches to literacy and numeracy. “This will be supplemented with $5.6 million in 2013-14 under the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Literacy and Numeracy for both the government and non-government sector. “The Raising the Bar initiative will continue to be funded with $11 million in this year’s Budget to improve student literacy and numeracy in both the primary and secondary school sector,” he said. Mr McKim said that $4 million in the next financial year has been allocated to fund a range of information technology devices for teachers. “These new devices will replace the current laptops for teachers program and to assist them in their educational delivery.Mr McKim said that the State Government was committed to improving education and skills across the labour market to ensure Tasmanians are equipped with skills required to enter the workforce. “Nearly $9.9 million will be expended in 2013-14 from the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform under the Skills for Work initiative. “This is a State Government initiative that integrates Tasmanian policy objectives and special features of our vocational education and training system to ensure the reforms are specifically tailored to the needs of the Tasmanian training environment,” Mr McKim said.