Page 3109 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 22 August 2017
These developments will ensure that Canberra remains a nation leader in quality education for our students. Our government believes that all students deserve access to education. We are focused on ensuring that students with complex needs are not left behind. In response to the recommendations of the schools for all report commissioned by the government into this issue, we will help schools develop long-term educational outcomes for these students.
The budget provides an extra $21.5 million in funding to implement the recommendations of the report. This will be in the form of increased teacher training and specialist staff and support services and by ensuring that our school buildings and playgrounds provide an inclusive environment for all students. On top of this, the budget provides $1.1 million for specialised transport so that students with disabilities can get to and from school.
Our government knows that great schools cannot exist without the hard work of our dedicated and passionate teachers. That is why we are adding to the more than 3,300 teachers that are currently in the ACT. As a Labor government, we will always value and support the contributions that teachers make to the city.
This budget is a budget for all Canberrans. Properly funding our education system is essential to the future prosperity of Canberra. We want to ensure that all Canberra students are supported through their education to achieve their goals. This budget funds education infrastructure as well as specialised training for teachers and support staff.
It responds to the challenges and opportunities that the growth in our community affords us. Only a Labor government is committed to investing in our city’s education system. This budget does just that. It ensures that our schools will continue to be well resourced so that Canberra students have access to all the opportunities that they deserve.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (3.24): It was disappointing not to see any new initiatives in the budget for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students which would address the severe deficits experienced in both NAPLAN results and NAPLAN attendance. In fact, the targets for Indigenous students remain the same and have remained the same for the past five years: on average 66 points behind that of their non-Indigenous peers. As I have said previously, this government is not interested in closing the gap on under-achievement for our Indigenous community but in fact maintaining the status quo.
I note with interest that the South Australian government announced an additional $67.5 million in their budget to help lift literacy and numeracy results for public school students. The intervention funds are dedicated to students not achieving expected standards.
What could we achieve here in the ACT if the government would support programs with a funding boost such as this? Programs would thrive on such funding, programs