The dispute between the ACT Government and teachers is getting worse!
The 6 June Budget, crafted by Chief Minister and Treasurer Jon Stanhope, took the knife to jobs and services across the ACT public sector. The public school system was not immune from the knife as the ACT Government targeted cuts of at least 120 teaching positions in secondary schools, 15 teaching positions in primary schools and 10 itinerant staff across the system. It also flagged the loss of 90 support staff in the education bureaucracy. The announcement of 39 potential preschool and school closures has sent many school communities into a fury, and the ad hoc and destructive nature of many of the proposals has been scrutinised in the media and at public meetings. Continue reading “Public Education Under Attack”
Planning on going to a community forum? -– bring your own megaphone -– the microphones never work!
Don’t get too exited though, even if your question is heard, it doesn’t mean it will be answered.
Some very good questions and concerns were raised at the community forum at Copland College on Monday evening, unfortunately we heard not much more than the rhetoric that has abounded in all of the government documentation on 2020 so far.
Continue reading “Who is counting the numbers?”
22 Pre-schools and 17 Schools to close, as well as 160 teachers to go—Protest Against the Stanhope Cuts. Government schools are under assault.
Monday, 26 June
11.00AM – 12 noon
The Minister for Education, Mr. Andrew Barr, has been telling regional consultation meetings that the Government did not promise that it would not close schools during its term of office.
Let the record speak for itself. Continue reading “Broken Promises, or Not?”
The Minister for Education told the Weston Creek regional consultation meeting held at Stromlo HS on 21 June that he will provide the Government’s estimates of savings from school closures for each school in the ACT proposed for closure. He also committed the Government to providing a break up of the savings according to the major components in each case. He told the meeting that the major components of savings were from site-based salaries such as those of the principal and bursar; utilities costs such as water, telecommunications, electricity and heating; and maintenance. Continue reading “Minister Says He Will Provide Savings Estimates”
The ACT Government’s savings estimates from school closures have been challenged by a leading expert in public finance. Ian McAuley, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Sector Finance at the University of Canberra, says that the figures presented by the Government are unduly narrow and ignore costs that will be borne by the community. Continue reading “Govt. Figures Challenged by Public Finance Expert”
SOS rejects the Government’s cuts to public education as constituting a major threat to the future of public education in the ACT. Massive school closures and massive cuts to secondary teacher numbers will undermine the quality of government schooling. Rather than renew public education as the Government asserts, the cuts will drive more people into the private sector. They will also undermine social inclusion and equity in school education. Continue reading “Public Education Under Threat From Budget Cuts”