With the State election around the corner, politicians have several issues to consider, particularly the need for increased funding in the state education system.
In the past decade, the Government has increased spending threefold on building prisons but expenditure on education and social and health services has remained the same, according to Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) CEO, Cath Smith.
Secondary school parents are concerned about their child’s needs being met, either through enrichment programs or provision of additional support, reveals research by the Education Union. Addressing “young people who become disengaged during their secondary education”, is also of concern, says President of the Australian Education Union (Victoria Branch), Mary Bluett.
“Over 70 per cent of Victorian students are educated in Government primary schools; when it comes to secondary schools, it’s only 58.5 per cent”, says Bluett. There is a need for “significant reinvestment in secondary provision,” says Bluett.
Victoria is the lowest funded state in terms of expenditure on education, says Bluett. This leaves Government schools with insufficient budgets. No principal should ever have to compromise the welfare of students for financial reasons, says Bluett.
The previous election committed to modernising every Government school in ten years. There are calls for “the government or the opposition to maintain that pledge”, during the upcoming election, says Bluett.
Investment into regional areas is also needed, says Bluett. A portion of the 2009-10 State Budget was likely to contribute to “closing the gap” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students according to VCOSS.
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