The Baillieu Government has chosen to spend $300,000 a year on a spin doctor while slashing funding for important education programs in Victorian schools, Shadow Minister for Education, James Merlino said today.
In weekend metropolitan newspapers, the Government advertised for an Executive Director of Communications for the Victorian Department of Education. The salary package is more than $300,000 a year.
The position would involve “strategising and executing all activities across the communications mix”.
“It’s extraordinary that this Government has cut millions from the education budget but is prepared to spend more than $300,000 on one spin doctor,” Mr Merlino said.
“What happened to Ted Baillieu’s promise to run a no-spin government, or is he looking to recruit someone to explain away the problems his Government is creating in our schools?”
Mr Merlino said Victorian students and teachers were already being impacted by the Government’s heavy-handed cuts to school budgets, with funding slashed to the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and the Reading Recovery program.
“Principals across the state have had to make tough decisions about reducing staff hours and cutting back extra curricular programs to ensure VCAL is still available after Mr Baillieu cut $48 million in coordination funding,” he said.
“In Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, funding cuts mean students will be disadvantaged due to cuts to the successful Reading Recovery program.
“How does Ted Baillieu deem spin doctors as frontline and essential when he is more than willing to take the axe to Reading Recovery teachers and VCAL coordinators?