Education will receive an extra $1.2 billion in the upcoming NSW budget, with the state government boasting of a record investment.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell on Monday said education spending would reach $18.5 billion in 2019/20.
This includes an extra $600 million in recurrent spending and $600 million in capital spending.
The budget will also, over four years, include $6.7 billion for new and upgraded schools, $120 million to expand before and after school care and $20 million for pre-schools to build, renovate or extend their facilities.
Ms Mitchell on Monday announced phonics screening tests would be provided to Year 1 students under an optional trial being rolled out next year at government and independent schools.
"We know that there is a relationship between how children learn to read and identifying the sounds of letters and we think it's worth investing in," she told reporters in Sydney.
"As we say, it will be a trial to begin with, I hope that a lot of schools will take it up because I think it's a good opportunity."
Further, she said the government would be partnering with Foodbank to provide a free breakfast program to 500 schools in NSW, particularly in lower socio-economic areas.
Australian Associated Press