NSW Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced school budget allocations for 2020, with more than $18 million to be distributed to Cootamundra electorate schools.

Ms Cooke said schools in her electorate were set to receive $18,327,751 – an increase of more than $1 million on 2019’s funding.

“This is incredibly exciting for our schools who can use the additional funds to continue hiring more teachers or administrative staff, purchase new iPads, instruments or sports equipment – whatever our school communities decide will best meet their unique learning and teaching needs,” Ms Cooke said.

“I am a passionate and committed supporter of education in the Cootamundra electorate, so it’s wonderful to see such a large amount of money being committed here.”

The allocations are part of a $1.25 billion allocation in needs-based funding for 2020, used to deliver targeted supported, quality and specialist training, innovative learning and wellbeing programs as well as education resources.

NSW Nationals Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the funding, known as Resource Allocation Model (RAM) funding, gives school principals freedom to spend their allocated funds to deliver the best outcomes for their students.

“I am incredibly proud of the outstanding educational leaders in our public schools and their ability to engage students. RAM funding provides greater resources to enable them to direct funding to cater to the needs of their particular student body,” she said.

The additional funding will be provided through an increase to every school’s per-student allocation, increased funding to students from low socio-economic backgrounds, and additional support for small schools with teaching principals.

The RAM payments were introduced in 2014 as part of the NSW Nationals in Government’s commitment to needs-based funding and ensures that every school receives a fair and transparent allocation of the State’s public education budget.