Cuts contradict children’s right to education: Greens

Greens spokesperson for Education Hon Alison Xamon MLC has today called on the Government to reverse its decision to cut $64 million from the State’s Education budget from 2019.

Ms Xamon said the repurposing of Tuart College and the change of program delivery at Canning College would disadvantage students who needed alternative pathways to university.

“These colleges have for decades played a critical role in assisting students who, whatever reason, may not have satisfactorily completed Year 12,” Ms Xamon said.

“They have been their avenue into university.

“The Government needs to make it clear what strategies, if any, will now be available for these students.”

"Today’s announcement is a further blow to an already strained environment, where TAFE fees have become prohibitively expensive for many WA families, resulting in a sharp drop in enrolments."

Moreover, Ms Xamon said the decision to axe School of the Air (SOTA) and reallocate the functions of SOTA to The School of Isolated Distance Learning (SIDE) raised concerning questions.

“If it is anticipated that SIDE will take over functions of School of the Air, are they being given any budget to do that?” Ms Xamon asked. “Is it seriously being suggested that SIDE has been operating with surplus funds to spare?”

“It is a bad idea to cut SOTA, which we know works very well for students and their families in remote areas of this huge state.

“Further it is extraordinarily disappointing that funds are being cut from important programs such as the Gifted and Talented programs.  Public school students will once again miss out on opportunities.”   

“Education is not an optional extra,” Ms Xamon said.

“Every child has a fundamental right to education.”