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Helping drought-affected families with education expenses

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke, today announced funding of $17.4 million to help rural families whose children attend schools in drought-affected areas with education expenses.

More than forty regions are eligible for Exceptional Circumstances drought assistance, covering around one-third of Australia’s agricultural land.

The funding will go to approximately 2310 primary and secondary schools in those regions, in recognition of the financial impact of years of drought on Australian families and school communities.

This was one of a number of drought assistance measures extended in the Federal Budget.

Schools may use the funding for items such as text books, uniforms, subject levies, excursions and school camps, or to provide other support which is directly related to schooling.

The funding is flexible which means it can be used to subsidise activities for a whole class or school. Principals can also direct support to families most in need.

$17.4 million from the Drought Assistance for Schools program has already been distributed to 2310 rural and remote schools in 74 Exceptional Circumstances declared areas.

Government schools have received $13 158 730 and non-government schools have received $4 264 740.

Under the program eligible schools may receive up to $10 000. This consists of a base entitlement of $1000 per school plus a per capita allowance on $100 for every enrolled full-time-equivalent student recorded in the 2008 school census.

by S. C.
08 october 2009, World News > Oceania