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Thursday, 8 November 2012

BENDIGO SCHOOLS STILL REELING FROM BAILLIEU BUDGET CUTS

Schools across the Bendigo region are struggling under the weight of the
Baillieu-Ryan Government’s $515 million cuts to education, Shadow Education
Minister James Merlino said today.

Mr  Merlino,  who  was  in  Bendigo  for  a ‘Labor Cares’ forum on dyslexia
and  learning  difficulties  with  local members, Maree Edwards and Jacinta
Allan,  also  visited  local  schools  to  discuss the impact of changes to
eligibility for the conveyance allowance.

“The   Baillieu-Ryan   Government  are  now  means-testing  the  conveyance
allowance,  which  will  restrict  students'  access  to  school  buses  in
Bendigo,” he said.

“The changes to the conveyance allowance will hit students in regional
areas extra hard.”

“The restrictions being placed on the conveyance allowance is just another
mean-spirited decision that is hurting families in Bendigo.”

“Bendigo has already been dealt several blows by this Government. It is
still reeling from the announcement that 100 jobs will be cut from the
regional education department office.”

Ms  Edwards  said schools across Bendigo and the region have been forced to
make  adjustments  to  their  budgets  having  lost  their component of the
education maintenance allowance (EMA).

“Because the schools component of the EMA has been cut by the Baillieu-Ryan
Government,  many  school  camps  are  not  going ahead next year and other
curricular  activities  such  as  swimming  classes  have  been dumped,” Ms
Edwards said.

“Our young people deserve a the best education possible but the budget cuts
being imposed by the Liberal National government is affecting those who can
least afford it.”

“Our schools and our TAFEs are being forced to do more with less funding
and support as a result of harsh government cut backs.”

“Whether its ensuring kids have a bus to get to school or assisting
teachers and families of vulnerable students, the Baillieu Ryan
Government is taking education backwards in Bendigo.”

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