New figures demonstrate that Victorian students are being provided the least funding of any state and territory in the nation, with the Andrews Labor Government leaving students behind across both the public and private education sector.
Data from the Report on Government Services show that in 2020-21, Victoria spent $11,570 per student across all sectors – lower than New South Wales ($13,111), Queensland ($11,911) and Western Australia ($13,113).
The Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said many local schools would benefit from an increased level of spending.
“The education funding in regional areas is disheartening,” Ms Cleeland.
“We need a detailed breakdown of the per-student expenditure into our region to truly understand the government’s neglect of investment into our local student’s education.”
School leaders throughout the region have called on the Andrews Labor Government to increase investment into regional Victoria, calls which have been backed by Ms Cleeland.
“In Broadford, we have a school that is overflowing with students and desperately requires investment, while Kilmore, which is thriving, lacks a public secondary school option,” she said.
“Meanwhile, Seymour Secondary College continues to wait for funding to complete its much-needed rebuild, which has been stalled for the entirety of the current government’s term.”
Ms Cleeland expressed her frustration with the lack of action taken by the government to support regional schools.
“The Nationals made promises to fund Seymour College, Broadford Secondary, and a public secondary school in Kilmore but frustratingly the government has not followed through on any of these commitments,” she said.
“With education funding playing a crucial role in determining the success of our students, more needs to be done to support regional schools.
“After the prolonged loss of face-to-face learning, it’s unacceptable that Victorian students continue to receive lagging education funding compared to the rest of the nation.
“We need a comprehensive plan to support our students and ensure that they receive the resources they need to succeed.”
This starts with providing the necessary funding across regional Victoria, so that no student is left behind.
“It’s a harsh reality that our students were among the last in the nation to return to their classrooms, and yet studies show that education is more expensive here than anywhere else,” Ms Cleeland said.
“As a parent, I find this unacceptable the Andrews Government invests the least in education despite these factors.”