The CLP Government has today admitted they plunged our schools into crisis and are scrambling to restore funding cuts to education with an immediate $23 million investment to avoid a disastrous start to the 2015 school year.
COGSO representing Territory families, the Australian Education Union representing teachers, the CPSU representing staff and Territory Labor all railed against the cuts to education being delivered through the CLP Government’s Global School Budgets and were told we were simply “scaremongering” and this backflip today is an admittance the CLP got it horribly wrong.
“For months the pleas of Territory teachers, parents, students and school councils fell on the deaf ears of former Minister for Education, Peter Chandler,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Despite the CLP Government repeatedly saying that no school would be worse-off under the Global School Budgets model, schools budgets were plunged into the red and school councils bravely fought budget cuts to staff and programs prior to Christmas.
‘Many School Councils wrote to the CLP Government to inform them of budget problems caused by Global School Budgets and to reject this form of funding.
“Now, with just days to go before students return to school, the CLP Government does a $40 million backflip to patch up the Education crisis they created.”
Ms Lawrie said since May last year Labor, the AEU and COGSO had strongly opposed the cuts being delivered through the new Global Schools Budgets model, pointing out the harm it would cause the Territory’s education system.
“Territory students deserve an education system that is appropriately funded to provide them with the best opportunities and education outcomes available,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Under the CLP Government schools have suffered back-to-back funding cuts that have taken their toll.
“Labor values education and has always made it an investment priority. We’ve had two years of chaos under the CLP. This is a victory for our educators.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, said the Chief Minister Adam Giles and the Education Minister Peter Chandler need stop denying there are massive shortfalls due to the CLP Governments Global School Budgets.
“There are now around 30 schools saying they have serious budget problems under Global School Budgets,” Ms Manison said.
“The fact is schools are having to make big cuts for a third year in a row because of Global School Budgets, but the Education Minister keeps denying there is a problem.
“Adam Giles told ABC Radio this morning that the Minister for Education will go through schools, to determine the effect of the Global School Budgets.
“Will the Government listen to COGSO and do an urgent review of the impact of Global School Budgets on every school?
“If they do, they will be faced with the reality that the Global School Budgets are forcing schools to cut teachers, subjects and support for students.
“The Education Minister promised no school would be worse off and he has broken his promise.
“Even the Department of Education advises some schools will receive less funding.
“The CLP have failed to fully fund the teachers EBA and this will force many schools into the red or to make cuts to afford the pay rises.
“The Education Minister Peter Chandler needs to take urgent action to address his disastrous rollout of his Global School Budgets policy.
“Territory students deserve an education system that is well resourced. Education should be a priority for the CLP Government.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, said many Territory schools will experience cuts in 2015 at the hands of the CLP Government under their Global School Budget policy.
“Under the CLP Government’s Global School Budgets there is not enough funding and schools are having to cut teachers, subjects and support for students,” Ms Manison said.
“That means crowded classrooms for our children with even less support for our teachers – our schools are under serious stress.”
The President of NT Council of Government School Organisations, COGSO, Gerard Reid on speaking about Global School Budgets told ABC radio today that ‘we're greatly disappointed that this is essentially being used as a smoke screen for another round of ferocious cuts in the last two weeks of the school year. So it's left us looking a little but uncomfortable and quite disappointed with the whole approach and feel like we've been rather used’.
The President of the Australian Education Union, NT Branch, Jarvis Ryan also told ABC radio today that under the Global School Budget model ‘some of the bigger secondary schools, Darwin High School, Casuarina and so on are many hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red and what that will mean is the loss of dozens, you know if not more than 100 positions across the Territory as a whole and what it means is that a lot of contract teachers, temporary teachers who are contacting our office who are despairing because they won't have a job next year’.
“This is despite the Education Minister Peter Chandler promising that no school will be worse off under global school budgets,” Ms Manison said.
“The reality is that schools are now worse off and they are having to make cuts for the third straight year under the CLP Government.
“The Minister needs to honour his promise and make sure schools are not worse off in 2015.
“Principals and School Councils are now having to make tough decisions around who to cut so they can get their budgets into the black.
“Education is vital to the future of the Territory and it is an area already cut to the bone under the CLP Government.
“That is another brutal process for many school teachers going into Christmas.”