The Andrews government has made a number of significant funding commitments in this year's state budget. Many of these commitments are the result of the advocacy and input from the AEU working with members like you. It is really important that state government provides the buildings, facilities and resources that our communities need to ensure every child gets the education they deserve in their local area.
It is also positive to see many of the key AEU asks has resulted in increased investment in programs for teachers and students which should see additional resources for every child, especially those that need the most support. The department has provided a useful summary of the various education commitments where you can find more detail. Some key points:
- $1.25 billion in new and improved school buildings
- $44 million to expand the navigator program for students at risk of disengagement
- $22 million for professional development for teachers and school leaders
- $65 million for student well-being initiatives
- $109 million for careers education
In addition, the government invested $644 million in the vocational education sector, including $172 million for tuition-fee-free TAFE places in 30 non-apprenticeship courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses. There are also a number of initiatives across schools and TAFE, which should see a closer working relationship between these two public education sectors.
Three years ago, the Andrews government promised to make Victoria "the education state". While significant progress has been made, there is still more to do and increased investment must remain a focus for the Government. We need to keep investing in our kids. We know we have many students in this state who are not getting the programs and the support they need. That requires money.
The AEU is calling on the Andrews government to guarantee their investment in our schools, teachers and children will continue — and continue to increase — in the coming years.