Students at public schools in the Manning-Great Lakes region are starting the new school year this week at a serious disadvantage due to the education policies of the State and federal governments, the Greens candidate for the NSW seat of Myall Lakes, Eleanor Spence says.
“Our public school teachers do a fantastic job, but school funding is being seriously eroded by the Berejiklian Government’s so-called ‘efficiency dividend’ and the Morrison government’s failure to fully implement the recommendations of the National School Reform Agreement, or Gonski review,” Ms Spence said.
“We’ve seen a reduction in funding for administrative and support staff at public schools thanks to the NSW Government’s cynically named Local Schools Local Decisions policy and this efficiency dividend means a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in real terms,” she said.
“This has resulted in cuts to programs that support students with challenging behaviours and students living with disabilities. Other crucial programs negatively affected are anti-bullying, drug and alcohol education, student welfare, and liaison with parents and the community.
“The Gonski review recommended that needs-based funding be implemented to bridge the gap between low and high-performing schools, however the federal government refuses to implement this,” Ms Spence said.
“Schools in the Myall Lakes electorate cater to the needs of large numbers of students from disadvantaged and low socioeconomic backgrounds and yet our schools are among the worst affected by the current funding policies.
“The Greens are committed to a fair society with equal opportunities for us all. There is a proven link between low levels of educational achievement and socioeconomic disadvantage. This is also reflected in outcomes for indigenous students. The Gonski recommendations seek to remedy educational inequality, and the Greens will fight to see these recommendations implemented,” Ms Spence said.
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