With a state budget of more than $15bn, NSW Education Minister Andrew Constance is set to be asked to balance the books by the end of the year, but he has said it is “premature to” announce any new funding.
A new $1.5bn budget will be announced on October 10, and will provide a $2.2bn boost to state schools, and $1bn for local government.
It is a $1,000-a-year increase on the current $1m-a-$1,500-a year funding, and it is the largest such increase in NSW history.
There are a range of factors to consider in setting the funding levels, but the biggest is the state’s budget.
It is projected to grow to $2bn by 2019-20, which would make NSW the biggest state in the country, behind NSW and Victoria.
Under the state budget, the NSW Government will be responsible for funding the state schools system.
That includes the $4.5m that the NSW Department of Education, the Ministry of Education and Skills and the NSW Council for School Excellence have been allocated for 2018-19.
The budget was revealed on the weekend, and includes $1 million to provide extra teachers, $1 billion to boost local education and $500m to fund the State Government’s schools and local government projects.
However, it will still need to find $8.5 billion to fund other government services, and there are fears the budget will not be enough to fund new projects.
The state has the largest number of teachers per student in the nation, and teachers have complained they are not being paid for their hard work.
Last week, the Victorian Government revealed it would be spending $300m over the next three years on new teaching and learning facilities, and new classrooms.
New South Wales is also looking at increasing the state school funding, but it is not expected to be enough.
In the meantime, there is a renewed debate in the state about funding, with some states considering introducing a carbon tax to encourage carbon emissions.
Queensland is also considering a carbon levy, but some believe the plan could backfire.
State education funding is projected by the state to grow by $1b in 2020-21.
It will be a big boost for the state, but with a $3.6bn budget, and a budget of $1-1.2 billion a year, the state is not expecting to reach the level of funding it had in 2017-18.
While the budget is a big jump, and while there is no doubt the state will be struggling, it is a welcome change in direction, and is a sign of confidence in NSW’s education system.
Read more at the ABC.