Funding boost: $219 million spread across 2K New South Wales schools

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Some schools across NSW, including Westfield Sports High, Greenacre and Campbelltown Performing Arts will gain hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra funding next year after the state government announced a record $219 million funding investment according to the Gonksi needs-based funding formula.

The extra money for more than 2000 schools, which ranges from $760,000 at Greenacre Public in south western Sydney to $93 at Towamba Public close to the Victorian border, allows schools to secure resources such as extra teachers or speech pathology services for students in need.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the investment would allow schools to get beyond just supporting students to targeting teaching and learning.

“I had a principal in Orange tell me historically our school has had a welfare focus, now with additional resources we have become a school with a learning focus,” Mr Piccoli said at Hurstville South Public School on Wednesday.

Premier Mike Baird said the results in the classroom were already evident.

“One young girl [at Hurstville South], reading time was announced and she pumped her fist and said ‘yes’,” he said.

“That is what we would love to see in every school across this state.”

While other Sydney schools such as Kingsgrove, Ross Hill and Hurstville South will also score a boost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars this year, others will receive less funding because their student demographics no longer require it. Randwick Boys lost up to $41,000 in needs-based funding, while Ultimo Public also took a hit, losing more than $10,000 because of a change in the student need for English language proficiency support.

The changes are part of the NSW government’s resource allocation model which has been in place since 2012.

The $219 million needs-based injection in NSW comes after a $113 million boost announced last year and on top of the $1 billion in base funding for this year.

Premier Mike Baird and Mr Piccoli called on the federal government to return to the negotiating table over the final two and most expensive years of Gonski reforms.

The federal government has committed to funding one third, or $1.2 billion of the final deal.

On Wednesday, federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said Mr Piccoli had every right to argue that funding should grow by even more than the Coalition took to the election.

“But he should be honest enough to acknowledge that funding will keep growing from its current record levels and that high need schools will only continue to receive more funding each year into the future,” he said.

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