Napthine comments disappoint

Labor Candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, today joined State Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, and State Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, agreeing that the Napthine Government’s recent comments on signing up to the National Plan for School Improvement was a huge blow for local students and schools.

“The Napthine Coalition Government’s startling admission that it was highly unlikely to sign up to the National Plan for School Improvement is disappointing for schools, families and the community,” Ms Chesters said.

“The Federal Labor Government has put millions of dollars on the table for local schools that deserve and need this funding to help ensure our kids get the best education for the best start in life.”

Right now, our schools are making tough choices that they should not have to make due to under-funding by the Napthine Government.

I know from meeting with school principals and their councils that some public schools in the area are doing it tough on current funding allocations.

For example:

- Primary schools in this region are being forced to choose between a music program or a language program.

- Some schools skim off the top of the cleaning and maintenance allocations to help pay for library books or extra support for kids on the Autism spectrum.

- One school in the region has gone without a Vice Principal to divert this salary into building works.

Under Labor’s National Plan for School Improvement, Victorian schools would benefit from an extra $4 billion, or about $1.8 million on average per school, over the next six years. With 1 in 12 students not reaching minimum education standards, this is money that schools in the region need, and need right nowis

The Federal Government has put a fair deal on the table for Mr Napthine – offering to invest two dollars for every extra one dollar they put in. This would ensure all schools get the funding they need to deliver the best education.