Media release: 9 November 2011
The O'Farrell government is sacrificing educational outcomes for a short term boost to the state's budget bottom line, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has demonstrated a singular lack of understanding of public education.
"Compulsory fees are not only a deterrent to entry for low socio-economic background families but an insult to the notion of free, secular and comprehensive.
"The O'Farrell government's plan to provide differentiated fees smacks of charity and risks stigmatising children on the basis of their family background.
"The lack of consultation with early childhood sector, parents, teachers and their union suggests that the Minister knew that he was breaking faith with the community.
"The benefits of preschool are well established in Australian and international studies.
"Fees put at risk improvements to lifelong learning outcomes, social adjustment to school life, long-term further engagement in education and income levels.
"These benefits comprehensively outweigh any budget savings that the fees will bring.
"This isn't even good economics, given the long run savings on costs in the health, criminal justice and school education systems," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 1954 55