The McGowan Government has released its first state budget, which will offer new funding to Western Australia’s education sector as of 2018.
From 2018 onwards, WA will introduce 470 extra education jobs in public schools and will dedicate $465 million towards public school infrastructure. The funding will provide new jobs for WA workers and improve education resources.
The budget intends to provide a new focus to Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. 50 extra Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers in regional WA. This will ensure Indigenous Australian children get additional assistance with their studies.
WA currently has the highest student to teacher ratio in the country, with 15.7 students per teacher. The Productivity Commission report found that the national average is 15.3 students.
Facilities across the state will also be boosted in both primary and secondary schools. 11 new schools, four performance arts centres and five early learning centres will be built under the new budget. 28 schools will also be upgraded. The new budget will build ten new primary schools, including Huntingdale, Banksia Grove, Burns Beach, Brabham, Southern River South East, Yanchep, Baldivis, Byford, Caversham South and Forrestdale South West. Between $15 million and $15.6 million will be invested into each school.
A new inner city high school is also planned under the McGowan Government’s budget. $68 million will be dedicated to the creation of the development which is planned for the Subiaco Oval site. John Forrest Secondary College and Balcutta Senior High School will also be granted $50 million to upgrade their campuses. To further elevate high school education, $17 million will be invested to boosting science in schools.
WA’s curriculum will also be restructured with an additional $2 million invested in professional development programs which support coding, website creation, and computer software and app development.
The Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery noted that “the McGowan Labor Government is investing in schools across the state to ensure students have access to quality education, no matter where they live.”
The budget is currently being criticised as a secret plan by McGowan’s to raise taxes, and for negatively impacting the jobs of gold miners. Despite criticisms, the government’s contributions to education are one of the winners of this year’s budget.