Tuesday, 5 May 2015

An education budget

As expected, today's 2015 Victorian budget had a strong focus on education spending, with a planned $3.9 billion in spending over four years.

The Government allocated an additional $805 million to increase Victoria's share of the Gonski agreement for the 2016 and 2017 school years.

Funding for the 2018 and 2019 school years remains in doubt, because the Federal Government has not committed to it.

Treasurer Tim Pallas rejected suggestions the Gonski funding was still well short of what was promised when the deal was signed in 2013.

"We're committed to the Gonski agreement and its principals," he said.

"We will put the resources in not only to meet our Gonski obligations, but to pick up the shortfall created by the former government."

The budget also includes significant funding for school infrastructure.

A total of $730 million will be allocated over four years to rebuild rundown schools, plan and build new schools in growth areas and replace dangerous asbestos school buildings.

The Government has also delivered on its promise to help disadvantaged students with $1.5 million this financial year to provide breakfasts for students and other initiatives to help cover the cost of schooling.

Mr Pallas said he was proud of the budget's focus on education.

"The 2015-16 budget is a budget for families," he said.

"It gets on with the projects our state needs and it puts people first."

About $350 million will be spent on the TAFE sector, including the so-called TAFE rescue fund which will pay to reopen closed TAFE campuses.

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