BUDGET cuts to gifted and talented programs at Kalamunda and Governor Stirling senior high schools have been reversed by the State Government.
The State Government has backed away from a number of its education saving measures in what it says is an effort to ‘strike the right balance between responsible financial management and quality education services’.
Last month, in order to deliver Budget savings quickly, the Government announced a range of measures to be implemented by the Department of Education from 2019 estimated to provide $64 million in savings across the forward estimates.
Under the cuts Governor Stirling SHS would have lost nearly $85,000 in funding for its selective academic program while Kalamunda SHS stood to lose $30,000 in funding for its visual arts program.
The reversal of the savings measures means funding for gifted and talented programs at 18 WA schools will be maintained, intake into the Level 3 classroom teacher program will not be put on hold and accommodation at Northam Residential College will remain open.
Premier Mark McGowan said his Government was committed to getting the State’s finances back on track and would continue to look for savings across government.
“The former State Government wrecked the finances with their out of control spending and irresponsible budget management,” he said.
“Since taking office, we have announced a number of saving and revenue measures to ensure the burden of budget repair is shared across the community.
“Education is pulling its weight, but upon reflection we realise we took it too far when it comes to education services and we now need to get the balance right.”
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said finding savings in education was “extremely difficult” and in an effort to fix finances admitted the Government “made a rushed decision that left many people feeling anxious and distressed”.
“We’ve listened to the concerns raised and took time to further analyse the impact of the savings measures announced both from a financial and education perspective,” she said.