Minister for Education Bill Shorten joined the Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh and the Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann on the steps of Questacon today to announce a further $6.5 million for the popular Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program.
PACER provides a subsidy for schools travelling more than 150 kilometres to visit the national capital as part of a civics and citizenship education excursion.
Federal Labor believes it is important to assist Australian schools to engage students in civics and citizenship education at national democratic, historical and cultural institutions.
Schools must visit Parliament House, Old Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial, and participate in an education program at these institutions. The program also allows students to visit other national institutions like Questacon where they can learn about science in a fun and interesting way.
Federal Labor firmly believes that all students should receive a first class education and learning experience, irrespective of where they live or what their parents earn.
PACER provides financial support ranging from $20 to $260 per student, for students in Years 4-12, and according to the distance travelled to reduce the costs for individual students.
PACER has benefited over 600,000 students since the program commenced in 2006-07 and over 2,000 schools are expected to be supported by PACER in 2012-13.
PACER is popular with regional schools with more than 38 per cent of the schools accessing PACER in 2011-12 from outside metropolitan Australia.
Demand for PACER exceeded available funding from 2007 through to 2011 and supplementary funding has been provided to ensure no school eligible for the rebate missed out.
In 2012, additional funding of $3.2 million was made available to meet expected demand and to help more students visit the nation’s capital.
Funding for this commitment is already included in the budget.
For more information please visit www.civicsandcitizenship.edu.au