A bilateral education funding agreement signed today between the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments will see a record $107.3 billion invested in Queensland’s state schools over the next 10 years.
The Queensland Government will provide around $85 billion of this funding – $5.4 billion more than what was previously forecast – with the Commonwealth Government providing $22.7 billion.
“This historic funding agreement will allow us to continue to invest in quality education for all Queensland children,” Ms Grace said.
“Investing in education is in the Palaszczuk Government’s DNA. Since 2015 we have opened 11 new schools and invested a record $2.3 billion in the Department of Education’s capital program.
“Since 2015, this Government has also employed almost 4000 additional teachers and 1000 teacher aides. This includes an additional 875 teachers in excess of growth, and 45 extra guidance officer positions.
“Queensland is also implementing an ambitious education reform agenda designed to improve education outcomes for all students.
“This reform agenda is getting results with The Grattan Institute recently describing Queensland as the “star performer” in its recent state-by-state report card on student progress.
“The Palaszczuk Government has fostered a strong state education system which is specifically suited to the needs of students
“Our effective targeting of funding and tailored reforms will ensure Queensland children will receive the education they need to be global citizens.
Ms Grace said the state-specific reforms set out in the bilateral agreement would build on these strengths.
“They include implementation of the new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system, a comprehensive leadership capability program for state school leaders and expansion of Queensland’s school improvement agenda,” she said.
Ms Grace said that while she had little choice but to sign the agreement to ensure Commonwealth funding for Queensland next year, she was disappointed the Morrison Government would not agree to treat all Queensland schools equitably.
“I have strongly argued for Queensland public schools to receive a funding boost similar to the $1.2 billion in additional federal funding Scott Morrison and Dan Tehan are providing to non-government schools as a “choice and affordability fund” from 2020 to 2029.”
Ms Grace also said Queensland state schools stood to benefit even more from the election of a Shorten Labor Government at next year’s federal election.
“Federal Labor has already committed to providing an additional $647 million to 2022 for Queensland state schools should they be elected and this would be a very welcome boost indeed,” she said.