$25m for students with disabilities set to flow

STUDENTS with disabilities in Tasmania will share in more than $25 million in federal funding this year.

The funding is made up of a combination of Gonski disability loadings, which begin to roll out this year, as well as a portion of the extended More Support for Students with Disabilities program.

Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby spokeswoman Kristen Desmond said she had been hearing from parents that schools were saying they were unsure if and how much support their child may receive this year.

She was keen for parents to be told as soon as possible what may be available to their child in 2014.

According to federal and state Education Department authorities, Tasmanian public schools would receive $12.99 million in Gonski disability loadings in 2014.

Catholic schools are set to receive $5.64 million and the independents $4.25 million.

A spokesman from the federal Education Department said yesterday these figures were based on early student enrolments, which would be confirmed following the August student census.

He said the state Education Department would receive its money on a monthly basis for public schools, while the non- government sector would receive it in three instalments - 50 per cent in January, 25 per cent in July and another quarter in October.

Tasmania will also receive just over $2.32 million as part of the $100 million extension to the More Support for Students with Disabilities program this year.

The bulk of this will go to the public sector, which has the majority of students with disabilities - $1.92 million - while Catholic schools will receive $210,000 and the independents $190,000.

The spokesman said 40 to 50 per cent of the funding had been, or would shortly be, paid to education authorities and the remainder would be distributed in the 2014-2015 financial year.

State Education Department secretary Colin Pettit said the state was also injecting $3 million as part of the one-year Respectful School Model 55 to 70 IQ gap funding measure.

This was to address the shortfall Tasmania got in Gonski disability loadings this year, as other states have an IQ cut-off of 70 and so would receive more money.

He said schools had been advised what funding they would receive.


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