As schools around the state welcome students back for 2017, Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has called on the Turnbull Government to back down on $30 billion worth of cuts to the sector over the next decade.
Ms Claydon said the Turnbull Government’s school cuts would be equivalent to sacking one in every seven teachers nationwide.
“In Newcastle, our schools will lose $33 million in the next two years alone,” Ms Claydon said.
“This means fewer teachers and less one-on-one attention. Inevitably, students will get left behind.”
Ms Claydon said the cuts would roll back the excellent outcomes that are starting to flow from the former Labor Government's needs-based 'Gonski' funding model.
“I have seen firsthand the incredible difference the Gonski school funding has been making in our local schools,” Ms Claydon said.
“Many schools have used the extra funding to provide additional teachers and specialised support staff to deliver more individual attention to students through tailored learning programs, greater subject choice, extension classes and extra-curricular activities to ensure that every child is engaged at school.
Smaller classes, intensive literacy and numeracy classes, access to speech pathologists and more support for students with special learning needs could all be at risk if Mr Turnbull proceeds with these cuts.”
Ms Claydon said the cuts were further evidence of the Turnbull Government's twisted priorities and lack of any coherent economic plan for the country.
“Every child in every school deserves the support they need to reach their full potential. Yet the Liberals want to starve our schools so they can subsidise the $50 billion worth of tax cuts they want to hand over to big business – a huge portion of which we know will end up lining the pockets of foreign shareholders,” Ms Claydon said.
“Investing in needs-based education is an effective means of driving the long-term growth and prosperity Australia so desperately needs.”