Premier loses support base over big cuts to educationMedia release: 11 September 2012
The O'Farrell government's plan to balance the budget by cutting 1,800 jobs from the public education system is short-sighted, mean and dangerous, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "TAFE is about to lose 5 percent of its workforce. That means 5 percent less public sector vocational education and training and 5 percent less long term economic benefits to NSW.
"TAFE students are being asked to pay more in order to receive less. Class sizes will rise, the ranges of courses will be reduced and time to help individual students will all but disappear.
"This round of job losses comes after the previous Labor government cut TAFE to the bone. After sixteen years in office, per student funding was down 48 percent and fees and charges grew 15 percent ahead of inflation.
"There is no more fat in the system and these cuts will have direct educational consequences.
"The O'Farrell government thinks that public schools and TAFE colleges are a soft target compared to the high volume private school lobby. That's why the public sector is now being lined up for massive funding cuts.
"Teachers rely on the support staff who keep their schools running. Cutting back on the administrative staff who enrol students, maintain records and communicate with parents will take teachers out of the classroom and leave less time for teaching and learning.
"Every dollar of these so-called savings will be felt by school and TAFE students. Larger class sizes and teachers who are distracted by filling the administrative gaps means less time for education.
"Rising TAFE fees will fall on some of the state's the most disadvantaged young people. The evidence is clear that potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be driven away in droves by higher fees. The opportunity to gain skills and contribute to the state's economy will be lost," Dr Kaye said.
UPDATE: SMH article-
UPDATE: Link to Coffs Coast Advocate Story - School body slams education cuts
UPDATE: Macleay Argus article, TAFE cuts a rough deal for Kempsey community, say union reps
SMH Story: Tip of the iceberg: warning 1600 more education jobs to go