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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

EDUCATION FUNDING - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

EDUCATION FUNDING - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Education Minister Paula Wriedt said today that since 1998 the Labor Government has provided more than $5.1 billion for education, information services and training in this State.

“This has included $951 million in additional funding over the Government’s term.

“The annual Consolidated Fund budget for education has been increased by $227.4 million or 43.46%.

This increase has included the funding of the following achievements:

· The Teacher Nexus Agreement

· Provision of more than 3000 Laptops for Teachers ($4 million)

· Funding of the Community Health and Wellbeing Program ($20.4 million)

· Implementation of Tasmania: State of Learning Strategy ($5.4 million in 2005-06)

· Providing $4.3 million per annum from 2005-06 to support students with high and additional needs and associated programs

· Increased assistance for families with the cost of education through the Student Assistance Scheme ($2.9 million annually)

· Employed an extra 68 primary school teachers and also provided an additional $2 million to further reduce class sizes in pre and grade 1

· Providing $15 million over the last five years for the development and implementation of the new curriculum

· Investing in strategies for literacy and numeracy in the early years

Ms Wriedt said that this clearly demonstrates a very strong commitment to public education and training in Tasmania.

“Mr Gutwein is showing his ignorance of the State Government Budget process as we are now in an accrual budget management environment and it is no longer relevant to focus solely on the Consolidated Fund outlay.

“The Consolidated Fund outlays do not reflect the fact the DOE also receives significant funding through the Government Infrastructure Funds.

“This has provided an additional $45.47 million in funding for the education portfolio,” she said.

Ms Wriedt said that many of the Liberal’s policies are not realistic and have not been costed correctly.

“For example extending the Liberal’s proposed reduction in class sizes would result in an additional annual cost in excess of $32 million.” she said.

“If they are serious about being an alternative government then it’s time that they came clean on how they would pay for their extravagant promises.


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