Media release: 8 June 2012
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's 'functional realignment' of the schools portfolio of the Department of Education and Communities has not only slashed 200 important jobs. It has also dumped both support for equity programs and any mention of environmental and sustainability education (See ABC 702 news item, 8 June, http://bit.ly/LBVZJ2).
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "The O'Farrell government's devolution agenda is more than just about cutting costs. It is also seeing departmental support for equity programs and environmental education dumped.
"Programs that help public schools address the impacts of high densities of disadvantage will be expected to operate without backup from the Department of Education.
"These are schools that are already doing it tough and now they are being cut loose by Education Minister Adrian Piccoli.
"For almost four decades these schools have had the advice and assistance of the Department in designing and implementing programs that cut the rough edges off poverty.
"The O'Farrell government's cost cutting will now force them to go it alone with appalling consequences for students and teachers.
"Neither the programs that assist disadvantaged public schools nor sustainability education are high enough up on the agenda of the O'Farrell government to even rate a mention in the new organisational structure of the Department.
"Children from severely disadvantaged backgrounds are being deserted by the O'Farrell government.
"The support their schools have received from the Department for almost four decades is being slashed as part of the O'Farrell government's school autonomy agenda.
"Priority schools are going from their own directorate to nothing. There is not even a mention of them in the new functional descriptions.
"This is the work of a Liberal National government that puts cost cutting well ahead of disadvantaged children and the environment," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455
For more background please see: http://johnkaye.org.au/