26 March 2014

Concerned parents and community members in WA today continued their campaign against drastic budget cuts in our schools at school gates. 

Federal Shadow Education Minister Kate Ellis and State Shadow Education Minister Sue Ellery accepted an invitation from concerned parents from Boyare Primary School in Mirrabooka to join them at their school gates to hear first hand how budget cuts are affecting their school.

"Parents across WA are concerned about Liberal cuts to schools," Ms Ellis said.

"Prior to the election, Tony Abbott promised that no school would be worse off under his Government.

"But we now know that Tony Abbott changed the rules, meaning state governments can cut school funding, just like Colin Barnett has done.

"Tony Abbott and Colin Barnett have teamed-up to cut school funding and parents across WA are saying enough is enough."

Across Western Australia, more than 700 state government schools are suffering from $183 million worth of budget cuts.

"These Liberal cuts are hurting every school, every student in WA in some way," Ms Ellery said. 

"Student numbers are growing in WA, not declining. This isn't the time to be cutting 700 teachers and education assistants out of WA schools.

"Only a Liberal Government would ever think that cutting 30% of support school programs for children with learning difficulties and literacy and numeracy programs would be a good idea. The rest of us just see this as madness.

"These Liberal cuts would never have been allowed under the Gonski school reforms."

This week, the full impact of Tony Abbott's broken election promise on school education funding was revealed with the release of new school-by-school funding data. The data showed the stark difference between what Tony Abbott promised for schools before the 2013 election and the harsh cuts that schools are currently facing.

On average, each school in WA should be $400,000 better off a year under the Gonski Better School reforms. Instead, this year, WA schools are on average $135,000 worse off.

For example, WA's largest school, Willetton Senior High School, should be receiving on average $3.6 million more a year under the Gonski Better School reforms. Instead, Willetton is facing a $669,000 funding cut this year.

Meanwhile, the budget at Joondalup Primary School has been cut by $203,000 this year. But, under the Gonski Better School reforms, Joondalup should be receiving $316,000 more funding a year on average.

"This April 5 election gives WA a chance to send a message to Tony Abbott and Colin Barnett that you don't support their cuts to education," Ms Ellis said.

For a full list of school-by-school cuts, please visit: markmcgowan.com.au/edcuts