Tough year ahead for schools in Casey under Baillieu

State Labor Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley today welcomed the start of the new school year but warned 2012 will be a tough time for schools and families thanks to Baillieu Government funding cuts.

“Nothing is more important to a child’s future health and happiness than a good education, yet Mr Baillieu has stripped $481 million from the education budget,” Ms Graley said

“The Baillieu Government has slashed $48 million from the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning program, leaving Narre Warren South P-12 College with a long waiting list,”

“VCAL is a program that has engaged disadvantaged students and supported the highest school retention rates of any state, however Mr Baillieu’s cuts have put this at risk,”

“Instead of improving the education system and giving our children the best chance to be the best they can be, Mr Baillieu has cut literacy and numeracy programs for schools like Kambrya College, which is still waiting for $140,000 that the Baillieu Government just won’t hand over,”

“Mr Baillieu has refused to honour his commitment to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in Australia,”

“And he has abandoned Labor’s historic school re-building program to rebuild, renovate or refurbish every Victorian government school.”

Ms Graley said Baillieu Government school funding cuts were short-sighted and cruel.

“A government who doesn’t care about education doesn’t care about our children’s future.”

Mr Graley said family budgets would also be under pressure this year after Mr Baillieu wound back Labor’s School Start Bonus for about 100,000 Victorians families.

“This is despite Mr Baillieu’s promise to keep cost of living pressures down,” she said

“Children, parents and schools need the Baillieu government’s support – not road blocks to learning and success.”