State schools provide free instruction, administration and facilities to students enrolled at state schools who are Australian citizens, permanent residents or children of Australian citizens or permanent residents. However, principals in conjunction with the school's parents and citizens' association are able to charge fees or ask for voluntary contributions from parents or caregivers to provide extra resources such as art materials or sporting equipment. The amount varies from school to school.
In most schools, parents are responsible for providing such items as stationery and uniforms. Parents also pay for school excursions, camps and extracurricular activities.
The Queensland Government provides allowances to help eligible students with secondary textbooks and resources, school transport, and living away from home expenses.
The Department of Education, Training and the Arts provides assistance to parents of secondary school-age students attending state and approved non-state schools to contribute towards the cost of textbooks and learning resources.
All payments for the allowance are made to schools through a bulk payment from the Department. In consultation with school communities, schools may choose to distribute the funds through operating textbook hiring schemes; individual payments to parents; or a combination of both schemes.
The allowance is payable once in any calendar year. The rates per student for 2007 are $92 per year (Years 8-10) and $203 per year (Years 11-12).
For more information contact your school principal or the Department's School Financial Services Unit on (07) 3237 0749.
Assistance is also available for registering secondary age home education students. For further information contact the Home Education Unit on 07 3405 3915.
The transport of students to and from school is a parental responsibility. The Queensland Government funds the School Transport Assistance Scheme to help students travel to and from school if their access to education facilities is impeded by distance, disability, financial disadvantage or if the students are from areas designated as drought-declared.
Eligible families receive assistance with rail, bus or ferry transport, or conveyance allowance for driving their children to school. Students with disabilities can also be assessed to determine their eligibility for taxi or contract minibus.
For more information on school transport assistance for students with disabilities, contact your local Education Queensland district office or visit School Transport.
For further information contact your local Queensland Transport office or visit their website .
The Queensland Government offers financial assistance for students who are compelled by geographic isolation to board away from home in order to attend approved schools with the required year levels.
There are four allowances paid under this scheme:
Benefit levels according to specific residential distance criteria. Applications should be lodged by 30 April for assistance to be paid for the whole year.
For more information contact the department's School Financial Services Unit on 1800 248 997..
Commonwealth Government assistance is also available to eligible young people through Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY, ABSTUDY and Assistance for Isolated Children programs. For further information on this assistance visit Centrelink .
Information on government entitlements for Queensland parents and school-age students is available online.
Further information is available from the School Financial Services Unit, Department of Education, Training and the Arts on 1800 248 997, or (07) 3237 0002.
A guide to the many avenues of financial support to students and families, as well as school communities and parents' associations, is also available in the departmental booklet Finding Funds for Your School Community.