State schools in the Port Stephens electorate will receive $11.8 million in needs-based government funding in 2018, tailored to each school’s different needs.
It’s part of a $1.09 billion spend statewide and an eight per cent increase on the previous year.
While some say its still not enough the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC welcomed the funding.
“This funding will give schools the freedom to meet the specific needs of students and our local community,” Mr MacDonald said.
“I’m pleased the NSW Government is delivering the extra resources our local schools need to provide the high-quality education our children need and deserve.”
Schools across the Hunter will receive $94.5 million to implement initiatives such as targeted literacy and numeracy support, teacher training and speech pathologists.
Education Minister Rob Stokes said providing school funding on a needs basis was vital to getting the best possible educational outcomes.
“The combination of funding increases and changes will enable schools to sharpen their focus even more on catering for the specific academic and well being needs of their individual students,” Mr Stokes said.
Given the state’s record surplus the Opposition said the government should be spending more. Its analysis of other states found NSW spends less, as a percentage of the overall budget (20.3 per cent), compared to every other state (24.6 pc on average).
Tasmania spends the most (26.5 pc) as a proportion of its budget followed by Victoria (24.7pc),Queensland (24.2 pc), Western Australia (23.7 pc) and South Australia (23.7 pc).
“NSW is the laggard not the leader on the states’ scoreboard when it comes to education,” Opposition spokesman for education Jihad Dib said.
“This government’s rhetoric on the amount they spend towards education pales in significance to the value other states place on education.”
Mr Dib said NSW needed to find 170,000 new school places in the next 15 years when the government had closed 36 schools and only opened 14, since 2011.
“Most people would be shocked to find out that the state with the highest population is spending the lowest percentage on education,” he said.
“With NSW’s revenue windfalls we should be leading the nation on education not lagging behind everyone else.”