Support boost for regional education
Improving regional educational standards and addressing teacher supply issues is at the forefront of a million-dollar government injection into country Victorian schools and programs.
The State Government last month announced an $82.8-million package dedicated to boosting student and teaching opportunities in rural and regional Victoria.
Labor Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said a recent Expert Advisory Panel into Rural and Regional schools had identified disparity between country students and their metropolitan counterparts.
She said the government’s package was a ‘first step’ in addressing the panel’s findings.
“Every student, no matter where they live, deserves to have access to a great school and a great education,” she said.
“We are getting on with the job of bridging the divide to ensure country kids have the same opportunities as city kids.”
Ms Pulford said the funding package included $45.2-million to address teacher supply by attracting teachers and school leaders to regional and rural schools and supporting them to stay.
She said this would include $12.5-million towards offering ‘the best teachers’ up to $50,000 to relocate to country areas to fill hard-to-staff positions.
The remaining portion of the package, more than $37-million, will be used to improve educational outcomes for regional and rural students.
Ms Pulford said it included $13.2-million to enable students to attend Victoria Certificate of Education revision lectures in Melbourne, $5.1-million to support regional schools to work in clusters and strengthen curriculum delivery, and $3.7-million towards outreach and virtual programs such as the John Monash Science School Regional Science Exchange Program.
She said the Government would also invest $8.9-million in a ‘STEM Catalysts’ program to provide teachers in regional and rural areas further training in mathematics and science, $59.9-million to double internet speeds at state schools across Victoria and $22.1-million for the Affordable School Uniforms Program.