Cuts to EMA leave Kennington parents out of pocket

Kennington Primary School has informed parents that in 2013 there will be no assistance to pay for books, excursions and camps as a result of Baillieu Government budget cuts, Mr Merlino said today.

Mr Merlino read from Kennington Primary School’s newsletter in Parliament today, which blamed Mr Baillieu’s cuts to the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

“Kennington Primary School’s newsletter laid the facts bare on the cuts to EMA and the impact to Kennington families,” Mr Merlino said.

“But Mr Baillieu ignored that this year Kennington families would have to spend more on text books and excursions and he ignored that Kennington Primary would no longer offer a swimming program and Grade Three students wouldn’t go on overnight camp this year.

“Mr Baillieu’s response in Parliament today, demonstrated just how little regard Mr Baillieu and his government has for the hard working individuals who teach our children or families.

“Mr Baillieu called the cut to EMA a ‘consolidation’ while, somewhat conflictingly, repeated blindly that his government had increased the EMA.

“What the Premier failed to address was if there was an increase in EMA funding this year, why was Kennington making such drastic changes to the services offered and lumping more financial burden on parents?”

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the Premier had to step in and get an outcome for teachers, for students and their families and for the community in general.

“If there was ever a time for Mr Baillieu to show some leadership it is now,” Ms Allan said.

“Labor has provided him evidence over two parliament sitting weeks, and indeed over the past two years, about the effect that the weeping sore which is the teacher’s dispute is having.

“With every day that passes it is clear that Mr Baillieu isn’t trying to fix the issue he has created with Victoria’s teachers because Mr Baillieu simply isn’t working on education.”