State govt to restore funding for schools

Education minister Adrian Piccoli will announce today that next week's state budget will double the current capital funding given to Catholic and Independent schools, which experienced devastating budget cuts under the O’Farrell government in 2012.

The announcement is the culmination of a fierce three-year struggle by Catholic and Independent schools to reverse the cuts which initially aimed to slash $67m a year but were later pared back to $116m over four years.

The $50m in new funding – to be pledged by Piccoli today – will go towards building much needed new classrooms and facilities.

"Demand for school places is increasing across NSW and this funding recognises the significant role non-government schools will play in meeting that challenge," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Piccoli as saying.

"The NSW government supports the right of parents to choose the type of education that suits their child, while ensuring a high quality public education system is also available."

Piccoli said the decision meant the government was providing $24m each year under the Building Grants Assistance Scheme "to support enrolment growth in non-government schools".

In February it was reported that NSW Catholic schools, despite the state government allocating $148m in funding for, were on the verge of a financial crisis and unable to provide classrooms amid a surge in enrolments.

Enrolments across all schools in NSW are expected to grow by 267,000 students by 2031.