Cresta-Richardson-300x400px 2021From the QTU President :

2021-2022 budget outcomes for education

18 June 2021

The state budget was brought down on Tuesday 17 June, incorporating the commitments made to education, both schools and TAFE, by the Palaszczuk government in the 2020 state election. The budget includes a total investment of $16.8 billion in education and training, with schools and TAFE benefiting from most of this commitment.

The budget funds the employment of 6,190 new teachers and 1,139 new teacher-aides over the next four years, making good on an election commitment at the last state election. This is in line with expectations arising from the projected growth in student enrolments. Not only do we need to increase teacher numbers to account for growth, we need them to deliver some of the working conditions agreed to by the department in industrial agreements.

$14 million will be used to employ “wellbeing” professionals to support the work of our outstanding guidance officers and senior guidance officers from 1 July 2021.

The infrastructure component of the state budget involves several large commitments.

  • The ongoing provision of funding for the Building Future Schools fund - $1.4 billion for new schools and additional and renewed infrastructure in existing state schools, including an additional $913.7 million for the opening of ten new schools in 2023 and 2024.

There’s more investment as part of the $1 billion Great Schools, Great Future infrastructure funding.

  • $61.2 million has been allocated as part of the $235 School Halls program; $39.3 million for the Advancing Clean Energy Schools program; and $53.9 million for air conditioner installation and replacement under the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program.

The budget continues to see investment in TAFE.

  • $47.8 million is allocated to equipping TAFE for our future program infrastructure.
  • There’s $21 million for free TAFE and free apprenticeships to Queensland’s under-25s.
  • $100 million is being invested to help train and retrain Queenslanders for in-demand jobs with TAFE priority skills and free apprenticeship support.

The QTU welcomes the government’s commitment to education and training and will continue to work with it to identify programs that reduce the workload of teachers and principals, including the replacement of NAPLAN, which would save the state millions of dollars each year and have a positive impact on schools and education.

There is no commitment to provide 25 additional positive learning centres, but we will continue to lobby the state government on this issue. In our view, positive learning centres would provide differentiated support for students with additional needs.

A full budget analysis is being prepared, which will provide a more detailed analysis of the education and training commitments. More information will be published once available.

Cresta Richardson

More information: Budget highlights document - Queensland Government

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