A ‘partial back flip’ by the State Government on education cuts was welcomed by Riverton MLA Mike Nahan who was concerned about cuts to gifted and talented (GATE) programs at schools like Rossmoyne and Willetton senior high schools.
Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery said on Friday that GATE funding would be maintained, instead of being cut by a quarter, and the School of the Air would be protected instead of being axed.
But Dr Nahan wanted the Government to go further.
“Unfortunately though these aren’t the only education cuts, with our local schools having to deal with millions of dollars in reduced funding – I call on Sue Ellery to back flip again and reinstate the crucial funding to Rossmoyne SHS and Willetton SHS that will severely impact these leading schools,” Dr Nahan said.
He said since the State Election, $11.78 million for the Willetton SHS rebuild was cancelled, the student-centred funding model was abandoned, and $1.3 million was lost from Willetton SHS and $1 million from Rossmoyne through their equity adjustment.
Independent schools (IPS) are also being directed to choose staff from a teacher’s pool, and the administrative grant of up to $50,000 for every independent school has been cut.
Funding has been also cut to prizes, including scholarships and general exhibitions.
Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery issued a joint media statement on January 11 that said in addition to Schools of the Air staying open and funding maintained for GATE programs, intake into the Level 3 classroom teacher program will not be put on hold, and accommodation at Northam Residential College would remain open.
The ‘Follow the Dream’ program will also continue to receive Department of Education funding.