The Government has also allocated more than $1 billion in additional funding over five years which it hopes will deliver better learning environments and more teaching support staff and professional resources to help students living with disability learn more easily.

The funding will mean students living with disability will have more tailored resources and support.

“The success of Queensland’s kids is the success of Queensland,” Premier Steven Miles said in a statement.

“That’s why I am 'Putting Queensland Kids First' this state budget, through a record $20.9 billion education [allocation].

“My Government has already hired more than 2000 new teacher aides this term, and through this budget we’ll deliver even more supports to Queensland classrooms.

“More teachers, more teacher aides and more teacher supports are on their way...”

The budget announcement comes after the Premier, Deputy Premier and Education Minister also revealed a $15 million School and Community Food Relief Program, to try to ensure all youngsters can start each day with a full belly.

The Government is also keen to attract and retain capable and confident teachers in its rural and remote schools, with an additional $45.1 million committed over three years, 2024-25 to 2026-27, to meet increased demand and costs for subsidised teacher accommodation.

Funding is set to deliver high quality learning environments and spaces that are accessible for students living with disability, and provide more than 2000 full-time equivalent wraparound services such as physiotherapy, speech pathology and counselling to address resourcing for students living with disability in state schools.

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services Charis Mullen said it is vitally important children with disability get the classroom support they need.

“This is a significant investment, which I know will be welcomed by families and carers across the State,” Mullen said.

“And this is what a Miles Labor Government does best – invests in Queenslanders to bring out the best of Queensland.”

Education Minister Di Farmer said education is the greatest investment any government can make for a state’s future.

“This is about delivering for our hard-working teachers and school staff so they can give young Queenslanders the best education,” she said.

“We are also supporting young Queenslanders with record investment for students with disability and First Nations students living in remote and regional communities to access the best education available no matter where they live.”

Farmer said the record education budget allocation will provide the extra support that some of the state’s most vulnerable students need to remain engaged with their education.

Earlier this year, the Miles Government drafted a plan it calls Putting Queensland Kids First, which involves a commitment to ‘working in partnership with communities, service providers and philanthropy to best understand and respond to the needs of families and children’.

The plan involves acting early and combining ‘traditional government portfolios and services to find opportunities to connect support to people, no matter where they live or what their needs are’. 

For students living with disability, funding is set to deliver more accessibility to high quality learning environments and spaces, and provide more than 2000 full-time equivalent wraparound services such as physiotherapy, speech pathology and counselling.

The Putting Queensland Kids First initiative involves $196.8 million over four years, delivering:

  • An increase of free kindy hours to 30 hours per week for four-year-olds in discrete communities;
  • Integrated early year services in Aurukun and Kowanyama;
  • 36 early childhood coordinators;
  • Expanding supported playgroups where children experience vulnerability and disadvantage;
  • 84 Family Support Coordinators to work with high-needs state primary school children in 219 state primary schools;
  • 85 behaviour specialists in primary and special schools; and
  • Trialling health practitioners at 20 high priority primary schools.

There will also be $4.9 million over two years, 2024-25 to 2025-26, to continue to deliver the Homework Centre programs in school, which provides funding for on-site support for students in up to 120 schools to complete homework outside of school hours.

But while the State Government was busy unveiling a flurry of new funding announcements yesterday, including the record education spend, the state opposition came under fire for backing the budget, largely sight unseen.

In an unprecedented move, LNP Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said he had already committed to funding arrangements for the Labor Government’s budget, the remainder of which will be unveiled next week.

“If projects are underway, if they’re in the budget, they’re funded, those projects must continue,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“I don’t think Queenslanders would want to see an incoming government not continue with projects like that.”

However, while Crisafulli said his support was about creating stability and trust in government regardless of the party heading it, Scott Prasser, from the Centre for Independent Studies, said the LNP’s failure to put forward an alternate stance raised questions about its role in opposition.

“It’s based on a fear of putting themselves out there and having to argue their case,” Prasser, the centre’s government policy researcher, said.

“Come next week they might as well cross the floor and join the government. It’s really not good enough.”

Prasser said in all of his years of working with governments he had never seen an opposition take such a position.

“This is nonsense ... I’ve never heard anyone say it’s good governance to go along with the budget and not upset the applecart,” he said.

Deputy Premier Cameron Dick said Queenslanders will rightly ask why Crisafulli has been “whingeing and whining for the past four years about what our government has been doing”.

“(The budget) is yet to go to the cabinet and the parliamentary party before I introduce the appropriation bills,” Dick said.

“This doesn’t add up, it doesn’t make sense,” Dick said.

Other education-related budget announcements include:

  • $15 million in funding for the School and Community Food Relief Program including $10.7m for the Department of Education to deliver food programs in schools from Term 3, 2024, in addition to the $2m in funding for food programs received in Term 4 2023.
  • GPs in Schools Program – $21 million over four years for the Department of Education to continue the GPs in Schools Program providing 50 Queensland state schools with secondary-aged students with access to a free primary health care service one-day per week.
  • $65.5 million over three years for additional projects under the Playgrounds and Tuckshops Program.
  • $151 Million for new school projects including a new primary school in Park Ridge and the new secondary school in Collingwood Park, both set to open in 2025.
  • $4.9 million over two years, 2024-25 to 2025-26, to continue to deliver the Homework Centre programs in schools.  This program provides funding for on-site support for students in up to 120 state schools to complete homework outside of school hour and
  • $500 million over four years to plan and deliver high-quality learning environments to meet enrolment needs.