The Rudd Government will invest more than $2 billion in the Digital Education Revolution after agreeing to provide a further $807 million to States and Territories for legitimate on-costs.
In March, the Council of Australian Governments commissioned a review of legitimate and additional financial implications for the States and Territories arising from the implementation of the $1.2 billion National Secondary School Computer Fund.
The Grimes Review was informed by submissions from State and Territory, Independent and Catholic school authorities and found that a reasonable overall estimate of the cost of deploying each additional computer stands at $2500.
The additional funding of $807 million will be paid before the end of the 2008-09 financial year.
This funding will cover the legitimate on-costs incurred for computers purchased through Round One as well as future on-costs associated with subsequent rounds.
Computers provided under the Fund which are replacing those aged four years or older will continue to attract funding of $1000 per unit as infrastructure is already in place.
Schools which have not applied in the first or second round for any reason, including uncertainty over the issue of on-costs, will be given an opportunity to apply under a supplementary Round 2 process.
The Grimes Review noted that the establishment of the National Secondary School Computer Fund by the Rudd Government has provided a new funding source to support the acquisition of additional computers that schools or education authorities would otherwise have had to fund from their own resources.
In addition, the Review emphasised that the costs identified should reflect the additional amount necessary for school systems and schools to accelerate their overall provision of computers and should not displace investments that State and Territory Governments, Independent and Catholic schools and school systems would otherwise make.
The Rudd Labor Government established the National Secondary School Computer Fund to bring our classrooms into the 21stCentury. The Digital Education Revolution will ensure Australian students are equipped with the tools they need for the workforce of today and tomorrow.