The state budget for schools in New South Wales is going to receive an extra $6 billion over the next four years. This significant investment will go towards building new classrooms, new schools, and making upgrades to existing schools in the state.
The funding increase is in response to the growing number of students in New South Wales each year. Big cities like Sydney and Newcastle are experiencing a fast population growth.
Their existing schools and classrooms will not be able to accommodate all the students which are expected over the next 15 years.
By the year 2031, New South Wales is expected to have about 164,000 more students. To accommodate this increase, there will need to be at least 170 schools that are built or expanded.
The budget will also cover other expenditures for things like paying teachers and maintenance people.
Building new schools in New South Wales will be a significant portion of the budget. They plan to start this year by constructing up to 20 new schools throughout the state.
Newcastle has not had a public school built there in the past five years, but now it is getting one. The city is already over their enrollment quota, so they need more classrooms built fast.
Over the next ten years, the state government expects to build and expand upon 170 schools. The short-term goal is to create 2,000 extra classrooms.
They will be able to hold up to 44,000 additional students. This is the construction pace that will need to be maintained as the student population continues to grow.
At least 110 existing schools will be going through significant infrastructure upgrades. This will be part of the school expansion plan where more classrooms will be built on existing schools.
Also, the schools which consume a lot of electricity will have solar panels installed in them. These solar panels are meant to offset some of the power used by things like air conditioning and lighting.
Most importantly, all the older classrooms will be redesigned with more modern technology and features.
There will be new central air conditioning systems installed in as many as 1,000 schools. The New South Wales budget plans to spend $500 million on air conditioning installations and upgrades.
It will help provide cool air to many of the classrooms and libraries of these schools which so desperately need them. To understand the costs involve, you can take a look at this air-con cost calculator.
Schools that experience high temperatures of 30C or more will receive the air conditioning first. This is projected to be completed over the next five years.
With all these new and upgraded schools in New South Wales, there will need to be extra money put toward school maintenance too.
The budget is setting aside $160 million for this expenditure for the 2018 and 2019 school year. The total budget for school maintenance over four years will be $747 million.
Another significant expenditure of the budget is to pay more school teachers to teach at these new classrooms. New South Wales will need 900 additional full-time teachers by the time all the construction and upgrades are finished.
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