Schools funding welcomed

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The State School Teachers' Union of Western Australia has welcomed the McGowan Government’s massive investment in school and TAFE infrastructure as a recognition of the crucial role education will play in rebuilding Western Australia’s economy.

SSTUWA President Pat Byrne said the state government investment in infrastructure was essential and needed to be matched with similar investment in people.

“This is great news for education in WA,” she said.

“That the state government has recognised the value of TAFE in building skills and knowledge, and of investment in schools’ infrastructure, in the state’s COVID recovery strategy will be welcomed by all involved.

“This is a major step towards the state government fully funding education in WA, with extra investment to support the state’s unique needs in terms of remote and regional education.

“This is consistent with the Premier’s acknowledgment of the importance of the role schools and TAFEs will play in resetting WA’s economy.

“While this is a significant improvement in terms of capital works, there is a need now to ensure that overall school funding stays at the level required to properly fund WA schools.

“There is a worrying clause in current federal/state funding agreements that allows for a potential reduction in WA’s education budget. We hope the Premier will make a firm and unambiguous commitment that such a reduction will not happen on his watch.”

Ms Byrne said there was a need to ensure that the government employed sufficient teachers and lecturers which will be needed to cope with the anticipated increase in enrolments in public education.

“The announcements show a strong commitment from the Premier and Education Minister,” she said.

“The SSTUWA will continue to work towards building on this recognition that education holds the key towards reinvigorating WA’s economy.”