OPPOSITION leader Matthew Guy went to Somers Primary School on Friday with a promise to spend $3.2 million on the 84-year-old school if his party wins the November state election.
Mr Guy said the school deserved better facilities as Somers was home to many young families, with more moving into the town as permanent residents during COVID lockdowns and restrictions.
He said parents deserved “certainty” after two years of interrupted learning.
“Now, more than ever, parents need certainty and the confidence their children will not fall further behind at school, which includes having the best facilities available,” Mr Guy said.
Somers Primary’s administration building is a 20-year-old portable.
The money promised by Mr Guy would kickstart the development of the school’s master plan and allow completion of its first stage, including a new administrative building big enough for the entire school community to meet for school assemblies.
Mr Guy said the school had been “overlooked by Labor”.
However, the Save our Schools group, which wants to end the “chronic under-funding of public schools”, says public schools are under-financed by federal and state governments.
Its recent analysis shows that all government spending for independent schools increased by $3338 a student over a decade, compared with $703 more per student for public schools.
The group predicted a $74 billion shortfall in money for public schools this decade despite finance models working on a needs-based scheme that was introduced by the Turnbull government.
Victoria’s education minister, James Merlino, was contacted for comment.
The Liberal candidate for Hastings, Briony Hutton, was also at Friday’s funding announcement and said money for schools was an important issue for the growing Somers community.
She said locals “deserved a government that delivered the projects they need, when they need it”.