Some of the department's key Budget measures include:
The Australian Government will commit $450 million to extend the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education to the end of 2020, ensuring as many children as possible can participate in 600 hours of quality preschool in the year before school. Preschool helps prepare children for their future education, and is particularly beneficial for disadvantaged children.
Funding will also be directed to develop new strategies to increase preschool participation rates in disadvantaged communities.
The Australian Government will provide $30.2 million in 2019-20 to establish the Local School Community Fund. The Fund is open to all schools – government, Catholic and independent – to directly benefit students through the provision of equipment, upgrades or programs at the local school level.
The Government will also invest $3.3 million to improve access to arts education, with a focus on schools in regional and remote areas or low socio-economic areas. Funding will support the delivery of arts education programs to school students through Music Australia, The Song Room and Bell Shakespeare.
To improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, at least 3,100 teachers who teach for four years in a very remote school will be eligible to have their Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt remitted. This direct financial incentive recognises the significant barriers to recruiting and retaining quality teachers in very remote areas.
To support both Higher Education and the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sectors Government will provide $93.7 million for a new Destination Australia scholarship program. Attracting more domestic and international students to study in regional Australia will help spread the economic and other benefits of Australia's tertiary education sector to more regional communities.
More information on higher education, research and international budget measures.
Skills and Training
Responding to the Expert review of Australia's vocational education and training system (Joyce Review), the Government's $525.3 million Skills Package, Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow, ensures that the VET system can deliver the skills critical to the economy now and into the future. It will also work to create stronger pathways for school students into quality training and apprenticeships and into jobs in areas of skills shortage.
More information on the Skills Package.
Full details of the 2019-20 Budget are available on the Portfolio Budget Statements 2019-20 page.