Government promise to students
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is confident an $82.8-million education funding boost will address a disparity between regional and metropolitan schools and better support country students.
Mr Andrews and Education Minister James Merlino announced the funding package, designed to support recommendations from an expert advisory panel into rural and regional students, last week.
The package includes $45.2-million to address teacher-supply issues outside Melbourne by attracting teachers and school leaders to state schools in rural and regional Victoria and supporting them to stay.
More than $37-million will go to a range of projects to improve educational outcomes for rural and regional students.
This includes – • $13.2-million to enable rural and regional students to attend Victorian Certificate of Education revision lectures in Melbourne – saving students up to $1000 on registration, travel and accommodation costs. • $7.8-million to expand professional development for teachers and leaders in rural and regional areas. • $5.1-million to support rural and regional schools to work in clusters to strengthen curriculum delivery. • $3.7-million for outreach and virtual programs – such as the John Monash Science School Rural Exchange Program – for regional and rural schools. • $3.7-million to abolish enrolment fees for Virtual School Victoria for all Victorian students, saving about 4400 parents $160 for the cost of their children accessing virtual learning. • $2.5-million to increase access to mentoring, role models and information about post-school pathways • $1.4-million for Victoria’s Tech Schools to host and offer science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM, programs for regional and rural students.
“We’re closing the gap between the country and the city – ensuring rural and regional schools have the people, facilities and funding they need to give every child a great education,” Mr Andrews said.
“Rural and regional schools can struggle to attract teachers and give kids access to opportunities they deserve – that’s what this funding will fix.”