Cuts rally challenged

Teachers, parents and community members will rally against funding figures released by the State Opposition last Monday, which show financial losses for more than 80 northern suburbs schools.

State School Teacher Union WA president Pat Byrne said there were concerns there would be more cuts in the next State budget.

‘They (State Government) recently announced a $500 million increase in GST revenue. We’re saying to Colin Barnett, this is an opportunity to re-establish your commitment to education and return the $180 million cut from public schools,’ she said.

Education Minister Peter Collier said the Opposition’s figures were based on wrong assumptions and funds that were never available.

‘Their figures are highly inflated because the majority of the additional funding under the former Federal Labor Government’s proposal wasn’t due to be delivered for five years,’ he said.

He said the Federal Government had matched the previous Government’s offer on education funding for a four-year period and the Opposition’s ‘community day of action’ campaign was dishonest.

‘If they were serious about putting children first, this unlawful strike would have been scheduled two weeks later during the school holidays,’ he said.

Mr Collier and the Premier will not attend the rally. The Times contacted several schools, with most commenting they would not know how many teachers would attend the rally or if the school would close until tomorrow or Monday. Claire Ottaviano