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, today said the Education Minister, Peter Chandler, must act now to resolve the Global School Budget funding shortages facing Territory schools with a third school council rejecting the model last night.
“Territory schools are rejecting Peter Chandler’s Global School Budget model that will plunge them into budget crisis,” Ms Manison said.
“We are hearing that many more schools are facing the 2015 school year with their budget position in the red, meaning these schools will have to cut teachers, subject choices and support staff to stay afloat.
“This is the third year in a row that Territory schools have suffered cuts under the CLP Government.
“Last night the Stuart Park Primary School Council joined Casuarina Senior College School Council and Taminmin College Council in rejecting the CLP Government’s Global School Budgets.”
Ms Manison said Education needs to be a priority for the CLP Government.
“Peter Chandler needs to honour his promise that no school would be worse off under Global School Budgets and ensure that the appropriate investment is made in Territory education,” Ms Manison said.
“The damage of the CLP’s cuts to education is putting the future of Territory kids at stake.”
Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, said the CLP Government has plunged schools into budget problems with no other choice but to cut teachers and programs.
“Under the Global School Budgets the CLP is putting schools through a third year of cuts,” Ms Manison said.
“Education Minister, Peter Chandler, promised no school will be worse off under global budgeting, yet the evidence is clear many schools are now worse off.
“We have now seen several schools tell the Education Minister they are worse off and he is failing to listen.
“School budgets are under more pressure with the teacher’s EBA pay rises needing funding and another 5 per cent PowerWater increase coming into place January 1.
“The CLP is cutting school funding to the bone and as a result there will be less subject choices for students and fewer teachers in our schools.
“Some schools are faced with tough decisions around cutting experienced teachers in order to make savings, losing valuable expertise from our education system.
“Education Minister Peter Chandler needs to take urgent action to make good on his promise that no school would be worse off.
“Territory students are suffering because the CLP Government does not value education.”
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.”
Opposition Shadow Minister for Education, Natasha Fyles, has slammed the latest CLP Government move to swamp our schools in budget pressures.
“Education and education budgets are the responsibility of Government,” Ms Fyles said.
“Parents sign up to join school councils to support their children’s education and academic outcomes, not manage a business.
“This cynical cost-shifting exercise by Education Minister, Peter Chandler, comes off the back of a $15 million cut to Education that schools are already struggling to grapple with. With fewer teachers and support staff schools are now being asked to carry the burden of the physical infrastructure – from repairs and maintenance to the myriad of minor new works that impact on a school’s operations.
“School council members have numerous questions about these global budgets and also what this change will mean for school councils.
“In other jurisdictions where these changes have occurred schools have been forced to employ less experienced teachers whose wages put less of a demand on their already stretched budget rather than a more experienced senior level teacher.
“Will education outcomes for students in the Territory be adversely affected when Territory schools are forced to make similar decisions?”
Ms Fyles said the CLP Government is ignoring the concerns of school councils and educators across the Territory by ramming through Global School Budgets for the 2015 school year.
“The Minister is ramming through this change through when next year’s schools budget allocation has been repeatedly delayed,” Ms Fyles said.
“Territorians need improved resources in Education and instead the CLP Government is pushing the responsibility onto Principals and parent school councils to manage in an already unbearable environment.
“This will push schools grappling with aging infrastructure to breaking point and give Principals less time to focus on quality teaching and learning and bury them in an administrative quagmire.
“How will this help our students? Where is the evidence that this is better for our schools?”
Ms Fyles asked whether schools would receive additional resources under the Global Schools Budget to meet CPI pressures.
“The accepted budget growth pressure in Education is five per cent, is this additional funding going to be factored in? What happens with significant infrastructure failure requiring repairs and maintenance?
“The CLP need to stop pursuing cost cutting at the expense of our children.”