Back-to-school pain for parents under Baillieu

As students, parents and teachers across Victoria begin the new school year this week, the Baillieu Government cuts to education continue to bite, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Mr Andrews and the Shadow Minister for Education, James Merlino, today visitedNorthMelbournePrimary Schoolto talk to parents about the impact of $555 million cuts has had on families with school aged children.

“Mr Baillieu has taken the axe to education and families are the ones bearing the increased burden,” Mr Andrews said.

“Parents across the state have lost vital assistance to purchase school uniforms and text books and also help with transport costs and school excursions because of the State Government’s cuts.

“These are fundamental necessities that every child needs to give them the best opportunity to learn and to participate fully in their schooling.”

Shadow Minister for Education, James Merlino, said that while the cuts impacted on all students, the reduction in funding by Ted Bailleu and Martin Dixon targets students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Whether it’s the Education Maintenance Allowance, VCAL, the School Start Bonus, Fresh Fruit Friday or the School Focused Youth Service, Mr Baillieu’s cuts to education are targeting the most vulnerable students,” Mr Merlino said.

“Access to education should not be a luxury that only some can afford.

“Cutting transport assistance to children who live in an area without public transport and reducing support for school essentials like uniforms and textbooks make it harder for students to reach their potential.”  

Daniel Andrews said that the 2013 school year commenced with the teachers’ wages dispute still unresolved and entering the third year of negotiations.

“All that teachers in this State are asking for is what Mr Baillieu promised them,” he said. 

“Mr Baillieu has walked away from his election promise and refusing to do the work necessary to end these protracted negotiations.”

For more information about the ‘Ted Baillieu is not working on Education’ campaign, please visit www.BaillieusNotWorking.com.au