I’m truly shocked at the current state of education funding in this country. While on the one hand the federal government has been advised to increase education funding in the Gonski report, on the other several state governments have announced savage cuts in funding for education.
It honestly doesn’t make sense to me.
In NSW, $1.7 billion has been slashed from the education budget for this year and future years. This press conference from the NSW Teachers Federation gives a good summary of how these cuts will affect our kids and the students to come after them.
I personally support the findings of the Gonski report and believe that education funding needs to be increased, especially for students with special needs. It is clear that cutting education funding is merely a false economy, only providing small savings now which will lead to greater expenditure later on.
The consequences of these cuts and the social cost they will inevitably result in are huge. It doesn’t make sense to me to go down this road, yet it is the path we are seemingly being forced to follow.
Yes, I have a personal stake in this. My husband is a teacher and is already under significant stress in his job – he doesn’t need more stress due to reduced funding, increased class sizes or an increased emphasis on teacher performance.
My son has special needs and is already being adversely affected by the changes to special needs funding as a result of the implementation of Every Student Every School. He has lost access to individual funding, so is no longer eligible to aide time in the playground. And we still have no idea what assistance he may or may not be entitled to next year.
I have tried to be an advocate on this issue but I haven’t been very successful. I had some steam up in the beginning – I wrote some posts and was interviewed by the local paper and wrote to relevant politicians. But the strain of real life, of living day in, day out, forever advocating for our son, took its toll.
After a while I could no longer find any more words, I was exhausted by the hopelessness of the situation and disheartened by the lack of progress. I just couldn’t bring myself to push any more.
However, I’m going to do my best to do more in fighting the good fight, because it is simply not good enough to stand back and watch while governments slash education budgets and further disadvantage our kids and jeopardise their futures.
It is just not good enough.