What does the Federal Budget mean for education?

The Australian Government recently announced their 2019-2020 Budget, revealing a return to surplus and significant tax offset cuts to attract voters in the lead up to the impending federal election. While some of us may enjoy pouring over every cent of the Budget, it can read like another language to others. That’s why we have broken down the Budget for you, so you know what the government has in store for families, students, schools and job seekers.

Families

  • $453 million to extend the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education until the end of 2020
  • $10 million over four years to help educate Australian children, parents and teachers about how young people can stay safe online.

Schools

  • $292 billion in total school recurrent funding from 2019 to 2029
  • Recurrent annual funding for schools will grow from $19.9 billion in 2019 to $32.4 billion in 2029
  • $41 million will be provided to extend and expand the Sporting Schools Program until the end of 2020
  • $62 million towards a new language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills program package.

What about the rest of the education and training sector?

Students and jobseekers

  • $93.7 million over four years towards scholarships for students to study at a regional uni or VET campus
  • $525 million skills package for vocational education and training
  • Funding for 80,000 new apprenticeships within skill shortage areas ($4,000 incentive payment for employers and $2,000 incentive payment for apprentices)
  • Ten “training hubs” to be set up in high youth unemployment areas
  • Jobseekers will be encouraged to take up fruit picking in regional areas
  • The maximum low-income tax offset will increase from $530 to $1,080.

Education providers

  • Government investment in university sector projected to reach more than $20 billion by 2024
  • $18.3 million over four years to develop a Unique Student Identifier (USI) and centralised digital training record, available across the entire tertiary education sector
  • $62.4 million to establish a national program to deliver foundational skills training
  • National Skills Commission to drive long term reform of VET
  • New underground physics lab at the University of Melbourne.

Regional education and jobs

  • Additional $200 million for a fourth round of the Building Better Regions Fund
  • $2 billion to build Australia’s fastest train between Geelong and Melbourne
  • Since 2013, more than 1,700 Australian Public Service jobs have been relocated or established in regional areas. In this Budget, the Government has committed to moving a further 191 jobs
  • $60 million Regional Connectivity Program will enhance access to healthcare and education, and support the digital transformation of regional businesses
  • $220 million investment in improved internet and mobile services through the Stronger Regional Connectivity Package.

Industry and jobs

  • $543 million investment in domestic and international tourism, creating new jobs and helping to diversify local economies
  • Since 2013, the Government has invested over $42 billion in over 600 major infrastructure projects, creating more than 50,000 jobs

Projects and spend by state are available here.

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