NAROOMA Public School (NPS) P&C is calling on parents and other community members to join the fight for the future of our children’s education.
The recent funding cut announced by the NSW Government of $1.7 billion to education spending has caused much consternation at NPS and across the state.
Over the next four years 1800 jobs will be lost from within the Department of Education.
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has promised that not one public school teacher in a classroom will lose their job. However there are grave fears for other positions including front office staff and teachers providing essential support in curriculum.
NPS currently has three admin staff and five support workers.
“If we lost these staff there wouldn’t be anybody to take care of a child that was not feeling well,” NPS P&C vice president Kate Woolnough said.
“Teachers would need to ring parents from the classrooms.”
The aboriginal liaison officer position is also in danger potentially leaving Koori kids without valued support.
NPS P&C is also alarmed by the government’s attempt to push through the policy ‘Local Schools, Local Decisions’ (LSLD) which is supposed to benefit schools by allowing greater principal autonomy.
At this time schools are guaranteed a set number of teachers and support staff based on student enrolments, subject choices and special needs. The LSLD policy will remove this entitlement leaving schools with a staffing budget to employ all staff, not just teachers.
“Local schools, whether public or private, have every reason to be concerned,” Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly said.
The Federal Government recently decided to spend an additional $6.5 billion per year on schools across the nation.
“We are prepared to invest more in our schools over time, but that has to be a shared goal. State and territory governments need to pay their fair share.”
NPS P&C feel the funding cut is a serious issue which will touch almost every family in the region.
“We believe all community members in the Eurobodalla would be angry as well if they fully understood the ramifications of these policies for their children at the public primary schools, high schools and at TAFE,” Ms Woolnough said.
Members of both NPS and Narooma High School P&Cs held a stall at the Rotary markets on Sunday in order to increase awareness. There was a terrific response from the Narooma community, with many parents signing letters to local MP Andrew Constance urging him to support public education, and reverse the proposed cuts.
NPS admin staff will be taking strike action on the first day of term four in order to protest against the cuts to public education.
“It is entirely up to us as a community to stop the government from diverting our taxes away from the education of our children,” Ms Woolnough said.
“If we do not contact his office with our objections, the funding will be cut and public schools further degraded.”
Concerned readers can snail mail to Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli, Governor Macquarie Tower, Level 34, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney, NSW 2000, email email@example.com, phone (02) 9228 5261 or fax (02) 9228 5492.
You can also have your say by going onto the "Putting Students First" website.