Don’t leave education to the market22 June 2012
Successive governments have failed to plan for inner city schooling needs, and I’ve worked with parents and school communities to save their public schools.
This week in Parliament, I raised concerns about the “Local Schools Local Decisions” policy. Education is too important to be left to market forces, with schools forced to compete against each other.
The effects of past closures and sales are now coming home to roost. Schools are full, or close to full, and options for expanding or opening new schools are limited and expensive, and there are more inner city families with children who need a school nearby.
The Government says the policy will give principals more control over budgets and staffing, but they will also have to take on new financial and employment responsibilities. They will be pushed to employ new and casual teachers, increase class sizes, and cut English as a second language and special education.
The Gonski report is the latest of many to identify the need for more resources for public education. The OECD Program for International Student Assessment reports show that skilled teachers and programs targeting students who need help is what makes the difference.
Click HERE to read my speech in Parliament.