New England Schools worse off in Federal Government funding: P&C

Rachael Sowden.

Rachael Sowden.

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THE Federal Government is facing backlash over its latest funding package for Australian Schools, with regional parents now weighing in on the debate.

New England P&C chairwoman Rachael Sowden said regional schools would be financially worse off under the new funding model and could be left to raise money themselves to make up for the short fall.

Ms Sowden was concerned that schools already stretched to the limit would be dealt another blow by the ten-year funding projects announced by Federal Education minister Simon Birmingham.

“Parents in rural remote areas were counting on that funding to help support their children’s schools and had been expecting it,” Ms Sowden said.

“Given it is years five and six of an agreement undertaken by the federal government and state government when Barry O’Farrell was premier and Julia Gillard was the prime minister – this is a long term agreement that six months out from the next phase has been adjusted.

“While the Turnbull government understands there is a need to have certainty on funding, by doing this it has taken away significant amounts of funding for our kids in our area.

“Some schools find it difficult to raise funds and will not be able to ameliorate the short fall.”

Last week the government released a new website indicating some schools in the New England electorate would be up to $23 million better off over the next 10 years.

The NSW Teacher’s Federation was quick to dismiss the figures, claiming New England schools would be more than $24 million worse off over the next two years, with 70 per cent of funding wiped out. A spokesperson for New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the Federation’s figures were outdated.

“We’ve used the best data sets available in Australia to develop our funding plan unlike some of our critics who seem to be doing their calculations on the back of an envelope,” The spokesperson said.

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