The Western Australian Government has delivered a $186 million increase, or 4.9%, in its education spending in the 2011-12 budget, bringing the total funding to more than $4 billion on education in Western Australia in 2011-12.


“An additional $77 million will go on building new schools, including the second stage of Dalyellup College on the outskirts of Bunbury, the planning and design of two new secondary schools and four new primary schools,” State Education Minister Liz Constable said.


“Preventative maintenance at schools is a priority and will attract spending of $40million. This is in addition to the Department of Education’s normal maintenance program, which in recent years has spent between $70million and $75million on schools annually,” the Minister said.


Dr Constable said $361.6million will meet costs associated with increased enrolments of students with special needs, the delivery of the Independent Public Schools reform and to assist schools with increased cost pressures.


The Minister said an injection of $100.5 million from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program would fund a school building and refurbishment program across regional WA.


The new funding will see 13 schools from Esperance to Derby refurbished or rebuilt.


The State Government Budget also provides an additional $103 million during the next five years for distribution to non-government schools through the per capita grants scheme.


The announcement of the increased overall funding comes as cuts to school learning support programs, prompting accusations by the state Opposition that the cuts will remove 18% in funding to the state school programs.