Funding model for schools criticised

Cuts a bitter blow, says MLA
Cuts a bitter blow, says MLA

Armadale Senior High School will be down $203,000, Cecil Andrews SHS down $250,000 and Kelmscott SHS down $250,000. But Roleystone Community College was set to benefit after being allocated an extra $334,000.

Education Minister Peter Collier announced the new funding model for public schools last month.

Dr Buti said State Government planned to take $45 million out of the WA secondary system over the next five years and give it to early education in primary schools.

‘It is great to see early years education finally get the focus and funding it deserves, but it should not be to the detriment of students who missed out in primary school and have now moved on to high school,’ he said.

A perfect example of the State Government’s ‘twisted logic’ was the decision to cut funding to a local school which had won awards for its successful, specialised early education programs, the MLA said.

‘How can our local high schools help disadvantaged students and provide high-quality education while suffering funding cuts year after year?’ Dr Buti asked.

The latest cuts were a bitter blow to education in the area.

‘This new funding model comes on top of the $2.5 million of cuts to local schools and $185 million worth of cuts across WA public schools this year,’ he said.

‘These cuts are an attack on some of the State’s most disadvantaged students and are not about balancing the budget,’ he said.

Mr Collier said the ‘rebalancing amount’ needed to be seen in the context of a $25 billion budget in the next five years.

‘There is more money being invested into education,’ he said.

‘In 2015, the largest ever amount of funding will be provided to schools.

‘The budget is increasing by $188 million this year and $284 million next year. The majority of secondary schools will have significantly more funding in 2015 than they do in 2014 due to the inclusion of Year 7 students.’

School principals and boards will need to decide on staffing arrangements based on their new one-line budget (each school has a total dollar amount). Principals will determine the portion for salaries and the portion for cash.