Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says the New England North West region will get a chunk of money from the budget going towards education infrastructure, however came up light on specific details.
Two major budget items announced over the past two days include $60 million for roof replacement and $46.8 million in funding to see 22 nurses introduced, both across rural and regional public schools.
As part of its COVID-19 Recovery Plan, the government announced it would work to replace roofs at schools across rural and regional NSW.
As the minister for education, a proud national, a proud Gunnedah resident, I unashamedly put regional students first and I think it's important we do that particularly in this budget.Sarah Mitchell
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Ms Mitchell said the Roof Replacement Program would support local construction economies by providing repairs and replacements for high priority schools.
However, while Ms Mitchell said schools in the New England region were shortlisted for works, it had yet to be decided which would receive the grants.
"Certainly our intention is that a lot of schools in the New England and North West will benefit from this program," Ms Mitchell said.
"We anticipate, with all the announcements in regional education infrastructure, many local tradies will benefit, like electricians, roof specialists and builders ... it's about stimulating the economy too."
Another $46.8 million has been earmarked over four years to deliver 100 new school-based nurses to support the health and wellbeing needs of students and their families.
The Wellbeing and Health In-Reach Nurse (WHIN) program has nurses currently based in secondary and primary schools in Young, Tumut, Cooma, Deniliquin, Murwillumbah and Lithgow.
The NSW Labor party was unimpressed with the announcement that those school nurses would be shared between 2200 NSW schools, especially after what they're calling the government's failure to deliver its promised rollout of school counsellors.
"It's unworkable," Labor leader Jodi McKay stated.
"Young people are in desperate need of mental health support at school, how can we trust the delivery of these nurses if they still haven't delivered the counsellors promised over two years ago?"
But Ms Mitchell said the program was still underway, saying one of the challenges was the time it took to train up candidates before their placement.
"We've had 25 per cent of those positions allocated this year with more to come in 2021 and 2022," she said.
"As the minister for education, a proud national, a proud Gunnedah resident, I unashamedly put regional students first and I think it's important we do that particularly in this budget."