A leader of the Teachers Federation in New England has accused Barnaby Joyce of being behind cuts of $26 million in education funding for the area.
“We’re here to ensure the community is well aware of the $26 million cuts to education to our public schools in the New England electorate. We want to make sure the community is well aware before the vote on the weekend”, said Tim Danaher, the Teachers Federation representative for New England.
He added: “Barnaby endorsed the $26 million cuts by voting for it earlier in the year and we just think it’s a pretty poor performance as he’s the advocate for this electorate.”
The Examiner suggested that with $2.3 million being spent on the TAFE in Glen Innes and large scale construction at the High School in the town, it wasn’t obvious that money wasn’t being spent.
“This is much overdue infrastructure works. What we are talking about is individual funding for each student and meeting the needs of each student and currently our students are underfunded. Their needs are not being met.
“And with the $26 million being cut over the next two years, we have a massive amount of unmet need in our community and the New England community is poorer for it.The New England electorate is poorer for it.”
Mr Danaher was referring to the revision of what is known as the “Gonski Review” to fund different schools according to their particular needs, based on the type of area and any special social needs each school might have – schools in poorer or rural areas would get different funding from those in affluent areas.
The union says this agreement was revised earlier in the year by the Coalition government (of which Mr Joyce was deputy leader) to cut $26 million from the previous promised funding.
At the time, Mr Joyce said the union was making a false comparison. He likened the union’s position to promising funding years into the future without being able to pay for it.