Professor Lyn Yates says funding for school buildings and facilities will help improve student morale and retention rates.
In today’s state budget, the Victorian Government has allocated $402 million toward the rebuilding and renovation of 113 state government schools across the state. These funds will be combined with the Federal government’s allocation of $686 million for Victorian schools’ infrastructure projects.
Professor Yates said receiving such a large amount of funding from the Federal government in such dire financial times was an encouraging sign that the Government was taking investment in education seriously and that the funding will do a lot more than simply make things look “shiny and new.”
“Teachers, students and parents really get a sense of whether or not they are valued in an institution if it is shiny and new, we should never underestimate the morale and valuing aspect of improvements of infrastructure,” she says.
Professor Yates predicted these improvements could increase retention rates, with students actually enjoying their surroundings and deciding to stay on till year 12. Professor Yates also said she hoped this funding will begin to close the disparity between rich and poor schools by “at least making the base level something people will feel happy about.”
Professor Lyn Yates is Professor of Curriculum in the Graduate School of Education.