Schools get the cuts

PRIMARY schools in Voiceland are losing around $154,000 as part of the WA government’s swingeing budget cuts.

Figures released by WA education minister Peter Collier to Labor MP Ljiljanna Ravlich reveal the dollar amount of every cut.

A 30 per cent reduction in resource allocation, introduction of a long-service leave liability levy, procurement savings and scrapping performance management funding means losses of:

• Highgate primary — $48,102

• Mt Hawthorn primary — $43,436

• North Perth primary — $27,939

• Kyilla primary — $21,013

• Mt Hawthorn education support centre — $13,815

Teachers’ union president Anne Gisborne says schools are being forced to take money out of their budgets to cover long-service leave entitlements—which for some could add up to $80,000 a year—and funding for special programs is being slashed by a third.

“The Barnett government refuses to be transparent about how many staff each school is losing and the extent of cuts in funding, so we are having to collect that information ourselves,” she says.

“The government is trying to confuse parents by talking about full-time equivalents. What people need to understand is that up to five people could make up just one FTE position.

“So when your school is talking about losing 1.4 FTEs, that could actually equate to seven valuable staff members who are losing their jobs, and seven fewer people who will be working with your children.”

Ms Ravlich, a former WA education minister, says these are cuts dressed up as reform.

“These are new cuts that have, until today, been kept quiet by the Barnett government,” she says.

“The Barnett government can no longer dress up its cuts as reforms—its own figures confirm that it is cutting funding for vital education services to help pay for its disastrous management of the state’s finances.”

Unions will hold a series of cake stalls at MPs’ electorate offices—including Perth Liberal MP Eleni Evangel—to raise awareness. An online survey has been launched——where parents can comment.


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