Education Minister Adrian Piccoli
NSW backs away from private school cuts
- by Justine Ferrari
- September 11, 2012
THE NSW government will cut $1.7 billion from the state’s school and TAFE systems over the next four years, but appears to have given non-government schools a reprieve in only freezing their funding instead of cutting it.
As reported by The Australian on Friday, the government was planning to cut its funding of non-government schools by about 8 per cent, or $66.7 million.
But following a public outcry by Catholic bishops, including Cardinal George Pell, and independent schools, the government will now cap funding for non-government schools at current levels, saving about $116 million over four years.
The Department of Education and Communities will cut $201 million in 2012-13, largely by shedding about 1800 staff, including 800 from TAFE, 600 from the department and about 400 school administrative positions previously announced by the former Labor government.
TAFE fees will also rise by about 9.5 per cent.
Announcing the cuts, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said teachers’ jobs would be unaffected, with the job cuts to come from the “back office”, from state and regional offices of the department. and he expected non-government schools to do the same.
Mr Piccoli said the government faced a $5.2 billion reduction in GST revenue over the next four years, and with education accounting for 22.4 per cent of the total state budget, the sector, including non-government schools, could not be immune to funding cuts.
“These circumstances force government to make decisions nobody wants to make but we have a responsibility to balance the budget,” he said.
“As we in NSW are required to tighten our belt, surely it falls on everybody to play their part.”