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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS SHORT CHANGED BY EMA CUTS

Speaking in Parliament today Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards accused the Liberal National Government of short changing schools across Bendigo West by cutting the school component of the Education Maintenance Allowance.

 Ms Edwards said schools in Bendigo West had written to her expressing their concern at what the cuts would mean for their school and their students.

 “Schools including Guildford PS, Kangaroo Flat PS, Campbell’s Creek PS, Winters Flat PS, Big hill PS and Malmsbury PS are all concerned about their ability to support the most disadvantaged students in their schools who have previously relied on the school to support them to attend school camps and purchase school books”.

 “The discontinuation of the school component of the EMA means that these schools cannot effectively implement forward planning”.

 “Reduced payments in 2013 will affect a large number of students and families in these schools”.

 “The School Councils, the parents, the teachers and the students are very concerned that they will be directly affected and will miss out on valued educational resources”.

 “What is most disturbing is that none of these schools have been consulted; there has been no communication from either the Department or the Minister outlining the exact meaning or the ramifications of these cuts”.

 “Clearly these schools and many others in Bendigo West have not been fully informed of the changes to EMA payments that will affect them”.

 “Whilst these schools have been told that the school component of the EMA will be partially offset by redirection of funding to government and non-government schools, there is still no clarity from the government as to how the funding changes will be applied or what criteria will be used to determine this funding”.

 “The Liberal National government has a harsh and cruel agenda when it comes to supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged students”.

 “The least they could do is show some leadership and give information and direction to these schools so that they can plan for the future”.

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