Stop the $18.64m School Brain Drain
$331.50 in taxes from every voter in Orange is being taken from our local schools by the State and Federal Governments.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Member for Orange Philip Donato called-on National Party MPs to stand up to their Liberal Party colleagues and fight the combined cuts to schools by the State and Federal Governments. He was joined at Bletchington Public School today by Kelly Anderson from the NSW Feacher's Federation.
The cuts to the electorate of Orange include $11.78 million cut from the 2018-2019 funding allocation by the Federal Government's so-called "Gonski 2.0" program, and the NSW Government's $6.86 million school maintenance funding backlog, revealed on February 5.
"$18.64 million is being cut from schools in the Orange electorate by both State and Federal Governments - and I won't stand for it," Mr Donato said.
"If these aren't backed-up by new funding, then I fear our schools will suffer a brain drain that will last a generation. Our classrooms and teachers can't run on just fresh air and sunshine, but without this funding that's what they'll be expected to do.
"These cuts mean that every single resident in my electorate is having $331.50* of their tax dollars directed from their local schools to another project out of town. Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham and NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes have a lot to answer.
"Are these cuts a paper-shuffling exercise ahead of allocations in the State and Federal Budgets to fudge the figures, or is there something else at play?
"Are these cuts only affecting the Orange electorate, or is the National Party running a protection racket for bad Liberal Party policies?
"Federal MP Andrew Gee has said that some funding will be allocated to cover the shortfall over ten years, but this funding is being cut now. By the time that money comes the children affected will have left school. Besides, how can we trust that ten-year promise won't be cut again like this cut now?
"My fear is that unless the Nationals are called-out on their State and Federal funding cuts they'll just keep doing what they always do - whatever the Liberal Party tells them to do.
"These cuts surely aren't localised in my electorate, so I'm calling on my neighbouring National Party MPs to stand with me and fight against them. If they are only for my electorate, however; then I won't rest until the funding is restored."
The top six schools subject to funding cuts are:
- Canobolas Rural Technology High School - $1,556,659
- Parkes High School - $1,192,397
- Forbes North Public School - $1,097,656
- Bletchington Public School - $1,064,732
- Molong Central School - $1,044,273
- Glenroi Heights Public School - $1,012,018
See how your school will be affected by downloading the full spreadsheet here.
* - calculations of $$331.50 per voter are based on 56,242 enrolled voters at the Orange By-Election.