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Budget 2004: Increased Federal funding for state government schools in Tasmania in 2004-05

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11 May 2004 MINBUD 08/04

In Tasmania, Australian Government funding for state government schools and students in 2004-05 will total some $73.1 million, an estimated $4 million or 5.9% increase over the past year or an estimated $27 million or 59.6% increase since 1996.

There are 214 state schools in Tasmania enrolling 61,157 students. Enrolments have decreased by 0.6% in the last year.

The Coalition Government’s ninth Budget has allocated record funding of $7.6 billion to Australian schools for 2004-05. The unprecedented funding for schools in 2004-05 continues the trend of the last eight Australian Government Budgets.

In 2004-05, over $2.6 billion is being provided nationally for government schools - an estimated increase of $136 million or 5.4% over the past year and a 68.7% increase since 1996. Inflation since 1996 has been around 20%. Enrolments in government schools nationally have increased by 1.5% since 1996.

On 11 March 2004, the Australian Government also announced its school funding and priorities for the 2005-08 quadrennium. A record $31.3 billion will be provided to schools over this period - an increase of $8 billion over the current quadrennium. More than $9.8 billion will be provided to state schools. This is a $1.9 billion increase over the current four year period and will continue to provide funding increases to state schools of generally over 6% per annum.

All state schools students, particularly the lowest achieving students who are at risk of being left behind, will benefit from this increased Australian Government funding. It includes support for critical and sensitive programmes such as the provision of early assessment to identify students at risk, literacy and numeracy intervention, and specialist learning assistance teachers.

Given their responsibilities as the owners, managers, and major providers of funds to state schools, State and Territory governments must ensure they properly support and adequately fund their schools.

The Coalition Government is committed to continuing to provide substantial levels of funding to produce real results in schools. State and Territory governments should provide similar funding commitments.

State and Territory governments have primary responsibility for adequately funding their own schools and a growth in revenues tax from the GST enables them to do this. I call on the Tasmanian Government to at least match the Australian Government’s rate of increase in spending on its own schools.

Media Contacts: Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095 Dept of Education, Science & Training: Virginia Cook 0412 971 323