Education push ahead of election
BOTH Labor and Liberal camps are focusing on the future of education in the lead up to the WA State Election.
Premier Colin Barnett said a re-elected Liberal Government will use money from the Next Generation Fund – funded from the partial sale of Western Power – to ensure public high schools would be brought up to current standards.
“A vote for the Liberals will result in this work happening. A vote for Labor will see it delayed for 20 years or more,” Mr Barnett said.
The $1 billion Next Generation Education Fund will benefit high schools built before
1985 across the State, with more than $400 million also earmarked for primary schools, district high schools and TAFES.
Under a re-elected Liberal Government,
$560 million will be spent building new facilities for Science, Design and Technology, Sport, Media, Home Economics, and Performing and Visual Arts.
Education minister Peter Collier said each school on the list would receive new and refurbished facilities worth between $2 million and $34 million.
“We have already invested $3.1 billion in capital works for schools over the past eight years, building 46 new schools and 15 replacement schools,” said Mr Collier.
“We have another $1.3 billion budgeted to open 18 new schools and complete major upgrades by 2020.”
During the election campaign, the Liberals have also pledged to revamp high schools as part of a wider expansion plan to create 4,200 new permanent places for Perth students with the upgrades expected to create more than 18,000 jobs.
Labor stated that it plans to substantially reverse the State and Federal Governments cuts to schools and provide students with more one-on-one attention.
As part of Labor’s classroom package, $121.8 million will be invested along with an additional 300 Education Assistants introduced into schools over three years, 50 Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers and an extra 120 teachers.
Labor will also invest $2 million to support the integration of coding into the school curriculum, $17 million to roll out science programs in 200 public schools, and two hundred $25,000 grants to convert existing classrooms into science laboratories.
The $19 million Science and Coding in School initiative will ensure schools have the resources; equipment and expertise to teach students STEM subjects, as well as $2 million of funding for professional development for teachers.
WA Labor Leader Mark Mcgowan.