House debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Questions without Notice

Education: Funding

2:36 pm

Photo of Katie AllenKatie Allen (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Education. Will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government is continuing to guarantee education funding throughout the COVID pandemic?

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Higgins for her question, and I thank her for her passion for education.

For those who didn't hear the member for Higgins's speech in this chamber last week, she spoke about Grace Halifax, a young grade 3 student who, because of what's going on in Victoria has been doing 'ABC of coding' lessons for other students. Over 200 students have come onto those Zoom lessons taking place on the ABC of coding. It's an inspirational story, and well done to the member for Higgins for her support for Grace.

Guaranteeing essential services is a hallmark of the Morrison government, especially when it comes to education. You can look at what we've done for child care: $8.9 billion in 2021, growing to nearly $10 billion in 2022-23. There is the 3.2 per cent reduction in out-of-pocket expenses as part of our package; 72 per cent of parents pay no more than five dollars per day in day-care centres and 24 per cent pay no more than two dollars per hour. Our COVID-19 measures have meant that 99 per cent of childcare services remain open right across the nation. Once again, I thank those early childhood educators for the role they've played throughout this pandemic. We've also guaranteed preschool funding again: $450 million in 2020, growing to $453 million in 2021. That brings total preschool spending by the coalition government to $3.2 billion.

There is also record funding for schools: $21.79 billion in 2020. That's part of a record $314.2 billion investment in schools over 2018 to 2029—an increase of 63.2 per cent per student. And our spending is growing fastest for state schools, at around 6.4 per cent per student each year from 2018 to 2023, compared to five per cent per student growth for the non-government sector.

And thanks to our support, and in working cooperatively with the states and territories, every state and territory, bar Victoria, has face-to-face teaching occurring in the classroom. Our hope is that when Victoria comes to term 4 that we'll once again see that face-to-face teaching occurring there. We all know how important that is for the children, especially those from low-SES backgrounds, those children with a disability and those from rural and remote areas.

We are guaranteeing essential services when it comes to education under the stewardship and the leadership of the Prime Minister. (Time expired)