Flood recovery funding for students and teachers in NSW
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Flood recovery funding for students and teachers in NSW

funding for schools and teachers in NSW floods

The NSW government has announced a range of measures, including one-off payments and increased allowances, to help people affected by the floods in the state’s northern region.

NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet announced that families with school-aged children in seven flood-affected Local Government Areas will receive $500 per child to assist with the cost of replacing school supplies.Teachers will also be eligible to receive $1,000 to help replace teaching supplies as part of the $67 million package.

Accompanying the Premier on a visit to Wardell, south of Ballina, Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the state government was still finalising how the payments would be made and what expenses would be covered. Ms Mitchell said the cash for families may come in the form of reimbursements for costs already paid or as vouchers to businesses to help replace school uniforms, bags and supplies. She said the cash could also be given directly to schools to cover the costs of excursions and extracurricular activities.

“I expect there will be a localised approach to this,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We have staff, we have students who have literally lost everything. Some have lost everything at home and at school, and that’s why we want to work really closely with our principals as we roll our packages out.”

Trainees and apprentices will also be eligible for $500 grants to replace their trade supplies. Grants of $30,000 will be available for early childhood services that have not been eligible for small business or federal government support already on offer.

While some schools in the region remain closed due to flood damage, Mr Perrottet said in-person learning remained a priority. “Our kids, during this pandemic, many have lost so many hours in terms of face-to-face learning and we can’t underestimate the impact that will have,” Mr Perrottet said.

“I don’t want any child, certainly when we’ve had disasters and we’ve had a pandemic, to fall behind. We’ve got to be putting as much as we can in terms of resourcing to make sure our kids get the best education because that’s going to set us up for future success.” Mr Perrottet continued.

Local federal Nationals MP Kevin Hogan said an ongoing allowance for people affected by the region’s floods was set to double. The Disaster Recovery Allowance provides an ongoing payment for 13 weeks for people whose income has been affected by a disaster.

Mr Hogan has previously lobbied for a JobKeeper-style payment to support flood-affected businesses and employees. He said the Disaster Recovery Allowance would increase to about $700 a week from this Friday, roughly equivalent to a JobKeeper amount.

“JobKeeper was much broader — this is a targeted payment to people who can’t go to work because their business is not open,” he said.

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