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NT schools to be 'fully funded' by 2029

Neve Brissenden -

More than a billion dollars will be invested in Northern Territory public schools over the next five years as part of a bid to lift education rates across the territory.

In a visit to the top end on Wednesday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will announce the government's commitment to fully fund each territory student to the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) - the minimum funding required to meet students' educational needs.

The funding needed for a public school student in the NT is almost double the national average because of the territory's remote locations and large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

"Every young person, no matter where they live or their circumstances, deserves to have the best start to life," Mr Albanese said.

"Access to a world-class education is critical to that. 

"Education and equality go hand in hand, however access to quality education has been out of reach for many in the Northern Territory."

The federal government said it acknowledged the specific challenges the NT faced, including "significant concentrations of disadvantage".

Under the new agreement, the federal government will invest an additional $737.7 million in the next five years while the NT government will invest $350 million.

Commonwealth funding will jump from 20 per cent to 40 per cent of the SRS, with the NT government committed to jumping to 60 per cent by 2029.

NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler welcomed the agreement, saying education could "change the lives" of territory children.

"Providing extra funding to territory schools means more than just being fair - it gives more resources to schools and teachers to help kids be better equipped to enter the workforce," she said.

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare said one in five children in the territory were not receiving funding.

"This agreement means the most underfunded schools in Australia will now be fully funded," he said.

The investment follows a similar agreement struck in Western Australia and the ACT.

Neve Brissenden - AAP


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