Bishop Anthony speaks with PM over NSW education cuts

21/09/2012

Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP meets with the Prime Minister
Ed Husic (centre) with delegation led by Bishop Anthony (far left) discussing the impact of funding cuts with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, School Education Minister Peter Garrett.

Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic has joined Prime Minister Julia Gillard and School Education Minister Peter Garrett to listen to the concerns of Catholic and Independent school representatives about cuts to schools in NSW.

The delegation was led by the Bishop of Parramatta and Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of NSW, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.

Mr Husic said the meeting on Wednesday 19 September was an opportunity to discuss the impact of funding cuts to education by the NSW Government including a funding freeze for non‑government schools.

“It defies belief that the NSW Liberal Government could one week agree to work with us to implement our National Plan for School Improvement, then the next week cut almost $2 billion from education,” Mr Husic said.

“We were told that cuts to funding for non-government schools will mean higher fees, bigger classes and fewer curriculum choices.

“What has also shocked non-government schools is that the move came suddenly, without warning – and that Public, Catholic and Independent Schools will all suffer.

“The NSW Government’s education cuts also hit TAFEs, increasing TAFE fees by up to $150 for students.”

Mr Husic said the Gillard Government is prepared to invest more in schools over time to achieve the goal of making our education system among the world’s top five.

“But that has to be a shared goal,” Mr Husic said. State and territory governments need to pay their fair share.

“We will not allow increased Commonwealth funding to be used as a substitute for reductions in state funding to schools.”

The Prime Minister and Catholic and Independent School representatives agreed on the need to progress school funding reform to ensure every school would see its funding rise.

“We are determined to deliver these essential school funding reforms for the benefit of students across the country,” Mr Husic said.

Related:

School funding issue ‘far from over’: Bishop Anthony


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