Disadvantaged Canberra families will be able to receive $400 for preschool children, $500 for primary school children and $750 for high school and college students to cover education expenses if Labor is re-elected in October.
The $12 million Future of Education Equity Grants program can be used to buy school uniforms, school excursions, sports equipment and activities and music lessons, Education Minister Yvette Berry said.
“Equal access to education goes beyond the necessary tools for learning – it is being able to buy boots for footy, art supplies, or starting school with a new backpack and a fresh haircut,” she said.
“These additional things can have a tremendous impact on a student’s engagement in learning which ultimately means they will have better educational outcomes.”
Last week Labor pledged $15 million to expedite the removal of hazardous materials in ACT schools after a fourth primary school was found to contain above threshold levels of lead from paint.
Education commitments from the Canberra Liberals include a pitch to parents in the Catholic school system of an extra $16 million in funding over four years.
The Canberra Liberals also plan to hire more teacher librarians, pilot a program for Indigenous boys and introduce a mindfulness program for Year 3 children.
An extra $15.5 million over four years will be spent to create 50 new teacher-librarian positions in schools and the well-regarded Clontarf Academy will be piloted for 12 months in an ACT Government high school to provide behavioural and lifestyle support to Indigenous boys.
The Canberra Progressives have also unveiled an education platform this week, saying it will establish grants of up to $10,000 to bring professional artists into Canberran schools for 20 days.
The program will support between 50 to 150 artists and schools every year, the Progressives say.
ACT artists will be embedded in the classes of primary school children and up to Year 10 and all schools will be able to apply annually for the program.
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