Greens rally against education cutbacks
TEACHERS and parents joined NSW Greens MLC John Kaye yesterday, for a rally designed to draw greater attention to education funding cuts.
Mr Kaye is calling for a reversal of the $1.7 billion cut from school and Tafe funding over the next four years, announced by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell recently.
The rally, outside the Education Department office in Coffs Harbour, coincided with Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner opening Fashion Week and spruiking the 70,000 people employed by the industry and its $6 billion contribution to the economy.
The NSW Teacher's Federation this week criticised the move, pointing out that on the same day, fashion teachers at North Coast Tafe lost their jobs.
"Tafe is absolutely crucial to the future of the Mid-North Coast," Dr Kaye said.
"Unless these cuts are reversed we're looking at a grim future for the Coffs Coast.
"The O'Farrell government is also exposing Tafe to competition from low quality private training providers."
Mr Kaye said about 1000 mostly support-staff positions would be lost from the public education system because of the cuts.
The Greens are also taking aim at the government's school autonomy changes ahead of the government releasing the new organisation model for the department.
"The 'Local Schools, Local Decisions' school autonomy program is going to mean more funding cuts and some schools being cut adrift," Dr Kaye said.
He also asked if support for schools would be degraded more.
"The O'Farrell government is threatening the future of the Department of Education's regional office here in Coffs Harbour," Dr Kaye said.
A previously released model showed the North Coast region administered from Newcastle, he said.