One year on, Victorian school students are worse off under the Baillieu Government thanks to a halving of school capital works funding and massive cuts to education programs, the Shadow Minister for Education, Rob Hulls, said today.
Mr Hulls said the Baillieu Government’s first year in office will be remembered for breaking a key election promise to make Victorian teachers the best paid in country – and for robbing schools of vital funding for the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).
“In 12 months, the Baillieu Government has done nothing to support young Victorians get access to the best education,” Mr Hulls said.
“Instead, Mr Baillieu has stripped $481 million from the education budget, halved the capital works budget, slashed $50 million from the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning program and is refusing to honour his commitment to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in Australia.
“He has cut literacy and numeracy programs and scrapped 200 teaching and learning coaches.
“He has stripped $300 from household budgets of 100,000 families by axing the School Start Bonus, refused to provide $2 million to fund Take-A-Break occasional child care program, abolished funding to build new children’s centres and scrapped free internet funding for kindergartens.
“The Baillieu Government is also forcing up apprenticeship fees by an extra $200 per year, and TAFEs have had to recalculate their budgets and 2012 courses after the Baillieu Government stripped them of significant funding.”
Mr Hulls said Mr Baillieu had abandoned Labor’s plan to rebuild, renovate or refurbish every Victorian-government school by 2016-17.
“It is clear that early childhood and school education and skills training are not a priority of the Baillieu Government,” Mr Hulls said.
“Education is our kids’ future and this Government has turned its back on that future. Students, parents and teachers are all worse off after 12 months of a Baillieu Government.
“This is the weakest and laziest government Victoria has seen in many years.”
To mark the Baillieu Government's first anniversary, the State Labor Opposition has launched a new website and booklet outlining the many failures of the Baillieu Government.
Visit springst.com.au or danielandrews.com.au