Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is outraged at the Government's radical proposal to force parents to pay high public school fees.
Reports of a leaked copy of the Federation Green Paper shows the Government is considering incomprehensible damage to Australia’s education system, including means-testing for public schools.
“This proposal means families could be forced to pay fees similar to the amount charged by independent schools,” said Ms Chesters.
“These shocking plans come just weeks after the Government chose to keep $200 million worth of cuts to Bendigo’s schools in this year’s budget.
“So instead of funding Bendigo schools properly, the Government wants to force parents to pay significant fees for sending their children to public school. It’s unbelievable.
“These plans will hurt every public student in every school in Bendigo.
“Either families will be forced to pay more in fees or there will be fewer teachers, larger classes, resources will be stretched and students will receive less support.
“It’s just appalling what this government is proposing. Access to a good education is one of the cornerstones of Australia’s democracy.
“I attended public schools and I am deeply thankful for my education and the opportunities it has afforded me.
“I know from visiting local public schools and meeting with their school councils, teachers and students, how hard they work to ensure every student has the opportunity to get a quality education.
“Our local public schools educate around 15,000 students and are vital in ensuring these students have the best start in life.
“The Abbott Government does not seem to have any grasp of the importance for the future of our nation of providing all our young people with a good education.
“Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne seem intent on doing everything they can to sabotage public education. This proposal will take our country's education system back to the 1950s.”