Funding cuts to hit schools hard
LOCAL primary schools will wave goodbye to $200,000 worth of government funding over the next two years.
If the Federal Government follows through with its commitment to cut needs-based funding, country public schools will be deprived of basic education programs.
In 2018 and 2019 local public schools in Heathcote, Mia Mia, Axedale, Redesdale and Eppalock will have to make the tough decision to cut aspects of their syllabus when the funds dry up.
“The funding they have cut will kick in from next year and will affect country public schools the most,” Member for Bendigo Lisa Chester said. “It is just about fairness. “Our students in the country deserve the same opportunities and funding as those students at private schools in the city.”
Local schools have been using the funding for programs to provide better opportunities for students who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance.
“A lot of our schools support children with special needs or who have a learning delay,’’ Ms Chesters said.
“Some are currently using the funding for outdoor classrooms centred on cultural heritage and sustainability education while others are using it for gardens, art and language classes and a range of different programs to give all students access to the best education.”
Ms Chesters said families who are doing it tough will be the most disadvantaged.
“School is giving children in these families, especially in Heathcote, access to the tools they need to succeed,” she said.
“Schools will now need to make tough choices and cut certain programs as they won’t be able to afford it.”
Ms Chesters said Labor is just calling for the Government to do the right thing.
“Small regional schools will be the worst hit such as Eppalock Primary School who work in an incredibly small space,’’ Ms Chesters said.
“The cuts will also impact on students who have to travel to school such as students in Heathcote and surrounds who go to Bendigo for high school.”
“After-school programs will also miss out and will be put onto volunteers.
“Ultimately the costs of education will go up.
“We have great schools, we just need the government to commit to funding them.”
Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters with students participating in their outdoor sustainability and cultural studies class which is one of the programs under threat.