Joint media release with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
The Rudd Government’s commitment to boost jobs and invest in Australia’s long term future will see every one of the nation’s 7,700 primary schools receive funding of up to $3 million to construct or upgrade buildings.
Primary Schools for the 21st Centuryis a $12.4 billion long term investment to build or upgrade large scale infrastructure in all primary schools, special schools, and K-12s.
The program will commence in 2008-09 and will require schools to make the new or refurbished facilities available for broader community use at no or low cost. This will provide access by the broader community to new libraries, indoor sporting facilities and other multi-purpose facilities.
Government schools will receive 69.7 per cent of the total funding under the program, Catholic schools will receive 19.6 per cent of the funding and independent schools will receive 10.8 per cent.
Funding will be based on school enrolments. Small schools with 50 students or less able to access up to $250,000 while larger schools of 400 students or more will be eligible to receive up to $3 million.
This historic nation building investment by the Rudd Government will not only support jobs, it is also a down payment on the long term strength of the Australian economy.
Research shows that there is a positive and significant association between capital investment in schools and student performance, with the strongest evidence from a UK studyBuilding Performancesupporting investment in community primary schools.
By improving the quality of education received by every Australian child, this program will help deliver the stimulus of today and underwrite higher productivity tomorrow.
Building the Education Revolution is a key element of the Government’s $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan to support up to 90,000 Australian jobs over the next two years.
Other elements of the Building the Education Revolution program include:
- Renewing Australia’s Schools- a $1.3 billion investment to refurbish and renew existing infrastructure and undertake minor building works in every Australian school.
- Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools- a $1 billion long term investment to build around 500 new science laboratories and language learning centres in secondary schools.
- Trades Training Centres– bringing forward $110 million to fast-track quality proposals for Trade Training Centres in Schools.
This new $14.7 billion infrastructure investment in schools is in addition to the Rudd Government’s substantial commitments to improve the quality of education and facilities in secondary schools including the $2 billion Digital Education Revolution and the $2.5 billion Trades Training Centres in Schools program.
Starting this year, the Rudd Government has also made new investments of $550 million in teacher quality and school leadership, $540 million in literacy and numeracy and $1.1 billion to lift the quality of education in disadvantaged schools.
ThePrimary Schools for the 21st Centuryprogram will be delivered through cooperation between Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the non-government school sector.