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Greens will deliver 2235 new teachers

Media Release
Christine Milne 2 Sep 2013

The Australian Greens will fund 2235 new teachers in disadvantaged government schools as part of a $1 billion scheme to relieve the pressure on teachers and schools and lift Australian educational achievement.

Australian Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said as many as a third of all government schools would get an extra teacher to help reduce teacher workloads, with another $20 million a year for teacher mentoring and professional development.

"Australian teachers and principals are under huge amounts of pressure and feel extra administrative burdens are pulling them away from time with students in the classroom," Senator Milne said.

"An extra teacher in disadvantaged schools will mean more time for lesson planning, engaging with students or smaller class sizes.

"We rely on our teachers to do one of the most important jobs in Australia and the Australian Greens are committed to improving our public education system by supporting our teachers.

"Meanwhile we have no idea how vicious and deep Tony Abbott's cuts will be. Regardless of what happens on September 7 the Greens will stand up for our teachers and disadvantaged students in the Senate."

Australian Greens education spokesperson Senator Penny Wright said the Australian Greens election commitment to support schools and value teachers announced today also included $50.6 million a year to enhance the curriculum, including investing in Asian languages, music, science and mathematics.

"For our future economic prosperity, we need passionate teachers and students engaged in maths, science and Asian languages. Research has also shown learning music improves student performance in all other subjects," Senator Wright said.

"What we are announcing today comes on top of our commitment to address educational disadvantage quicker by getting more money to schools sooner and delivering an extra $2 billion on top of the current government's school funding reforms.

"Improving our public education system is one of the best investments our nation can make. The Australian Greens will invest a total of $3 billion in the next three years to ensure every child has a chance to reach their potential."

Australian Greens spokesperson for youth Senator Hanson-Young said the Australian Greens would support students by contributing a further $100 million to increase the number of mental health and social workers in schools and provide grants for wellbeing programs.

"Many students experience social and emotional difficulties and schools are a great place to start improving the wellbeing of our young people.

"We will help ensure every Australian child has the chance to succeed, by redirect and increase funding from the National School Chaplaincy Program to put qualified welfare and support professionals in public schools."

Read more about the Australian Greens plans to support students and value teachers here.

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