ACT Labor commits to $33 million school renovation program | The Canberra Times

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ACT Labor has promised to invest in schools in southern Canberra if re-elected. The pledge includes a $33 million spend to replace temporary classrooms and upgrade old buildings at Narrabundah College. Education Minister Yvette Berry said work was under way for a new primary school and high school in the Molonglo Valley. She said if re-elected Labor would begin consulting and planning for new and upgraded schools in the Woden Valley. “With Woden’s population growing, ACT Labor will ensure that new families moving to Woden will have access to great local public schools,” Ms Berry said. Chief Minister Andrew Barr said building and upgrading schools would lead to the employment of 400 more teachers over the next four years. “Our city is facing a huge economic challenge, and creating jobs is our number one priority,” he said. “We have a comprehensive plan to grow our employment base from 230,000 to more than 250,000 local jobs by 2025.” The announcement comes after ACT Labor pledged $99 million for its school renewal program. Under that program, non-government schools will be able to apply for low interest loans up to $200,000 for investments focused on sustainability. Speaking at Burgmann Anglican School in Forde on Tuesday, Ms Berry said Labor’s promises honoured concerns held by environmentally conscious students. “All of the students here could talk to me about sustainability and how important it was to them,” she said. “They are absolutely ready to take action now on sustainability and action on climate change. We need to be able to provide them with the tools and opportunities to do that.” Labor has promised to release three blocks of land for non-government schools, two in Molonglo Valley and one in Ginninderry. After being asked if ACT Labor would follow the Canberra Liberals in committing to extra funding for Catholic schools, Mr Barr said Catholic schools would be treated like any other non-government school. “We believe in fair funding for students regardless of which school system they are in,” Mr Barr said. “The commitments we are making today for both non-government and government schools reflect those principles and values. “There’s no special deals.”

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