Education cuts hurt for a long time

I strongly oppose the Government's $1.7 billion education budget cuts.

Education plays a vital role in shaping our future citizens, and I have long supported better resources for preschools, schools, special needs education, TAFE and adult and community education.

Earlier this year in Parliament, I raised concerns about the loss of central and regional support officers as part of the Local Schools, Local Decisions policy in Parliament, asking the Government to continue promoting equity and opportunity for all students.

The Government has announced funding to non-government schools will be capped at the current level for four years, TAFE fees will increase by nearly 10 per cent and 1,800 jobs will be cut in the Department of Education and Communities. While the announcement stated that teaching jobs will not be lost, teachers and principals will have to take over these duties. Teachers will lose curriculum and support services for disadvantaged and special needs students.

Abolition of the Joint Group Training Scheme will reduce opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships.

These cuts follow $201 million "efficiency savings" and other restrictions on expenditure this financial year.

This decision is hard to understand when the 2011 "Review of Funding for Schooling" (Gonski) report identified the need for a massive injection of resources into education to get better learning outcomes and reduce the widening gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

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