- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Piccoli's 'local schools, local blame' is dangerous and divisive

Greens Media: March 22nd

Greens NSW MP John Kaye warned that the O'Farrell government's 'Local Schools Local Decisions' policy will inevitably lead to less money for public schools on the Mid-North Coast.

Dr Kaye will be visiting Bowraville Central School at 10:30am and Bellingen High School at 2.00pm on Friday the 23rd of March.

John Kaye meets with Marty Wheatley, NSWTF, outside Bowraville Central School
Dr Kaye said: "This is a scheme designed by politicians to make educators take responsibility for governments' failure to fund public education.

"Instead of working with school leaders to make use of their local knowledge, the O'Farrell government wants to avoid the blame for inadequate education budgets. 

"As more responsibility for spending is loaded onto principals, there will be inevitable cuts to school funding. This is exactly what happened when a similar scheme was implemented in Victoria.

"The result of the trial of 'Local Schools, Local Decisions' will not be a reliable guide to the impact of the changes that Education Minister Adrian Piccoli wants to roll out across NSW.

"The 47 schools in the trial were buffered against the worst aspects of devolution. Many were given additional funds and all of them still had in place the benefits of a state-wide system.

"School leaders will be forced to wear the blame when there is not enough money to pay for both school counsellors and special needs teachers.

"Principals will be under pressure to replace permanent teachers with casuals. There are real risks that student learning will be disrupted as more classes are denied the benefit of a single teacher throughout the year.

"Every time parents complain about inadequate school counselling resources or insufficient teachers aide time, the NSW government will be able to shift the blame the principal for making bad choices.

"Devolution is the next big step in the O'Farrell government's implementation of the Keneally government's Boston Consulting Report that identified the $1 billion worth of school budget cuts," Dr Kaye said.

For more information:    John Kaye 0407 195 455

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