BAILLIEU GOVERNMENT BLAMES SCHOOL FOR VCAL CUTS

The Baillieu Government Education Minister, Martin Dixon, has blamed a local school for the cuts caused by the withdrawal of VCAL coordination funding.

In 2011, the Baillieu Government withdrew $48 million in VCAL coordination funding, causing Narre Warren South P-12 College to drop 50 places.

Responding to a question in Parliament by State Labor MP for Narre Warren South Judith Graley, Minister Dixon stated ‘The school may have made that decision, but what has happened is that our schools have the autonomy to make the decisions about where they want to put their funding’.

Ms Graley said Minister Dixon’s comments were an insult to the staff and parents at Narre Warren South P-12 College.

‘It is a ridiculous situation when the Baillieu Government blames the school for its own education cuts,’ she said

‘Minister Dixon is out of touch with local families and Premier Baillieu just does not care because he and his family have always been privileged with access to private education.’

Shadow Minister for Education James Merlino said the Labor Opposition had presented several questions to both the Premier and Education Minister Martin Dixon.

‘Today Labor presented Ted Baillieu with exactly what hardworking Victorians are saying about his Government’s $555 million cuts to education,’ Mr Merlino said.

‘Whether it’s VCAL, the Education Maintenance Allowance, the School Start Bonus, Fresh Fruit Friday or the School Focused Youth Service, principals and families are bearing the burden right now.’

Ms Graley said the campaign to fight Mr Baillieu’s cuts on education had received a strong response.

‘Since students went back to school last week, Labor has been meeting with parents and teachers and discussing the impact these cuts are having on them and their families,’ she said.

‘Today we presented to the Premier just a few of the 500-plus responses we have received across the state to our No More Cuts petition’,

‘Combined with the fallout from the $300 million cuts to TAFE and the Baillieu Government’s absolute inability to strike a deal with teachers on pay and conditions, it’s clear that Ted Baillieu is not working on education.’