LETTER: Budget cuts will impact Camden Haven High

The 2017 Federal Budget includes cuts to the  existing agreement with NSW that will cost Camden Haven High School over $1 million in funding in 2018/19.  Our larger primary schools are likely to lose more than a quarter of a million each.

But Gonski is not dead yet! These changes can be stopped in the Senate. Citizens should write to cross benchers asking them to hold the line for our schools.

The real disgrace is in funding for students with a disability. 

The Productivity Commission reported in February that 200 000 students with disabilities get funded, but the school system for identifying student need, NCCD, reported 468 000  students with disabilities that require extra support.

When fronted in February, Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham pointed the bone at Principals and Teachers who have to collect the data, and said the data was flawed.

A study into the data collection was commissioned and reported two weeks ago:

"The work undertaken [by PricewaterhouseCoopers] last year has found that at a national level, the data is broadly reliable," Senator Birmingham said this week. (ABC News 20 May 17).

This means that 268 000 students with a disability in Australian schools attract no additional funding. 

At Camden Haven High our Work Readiness Program sees 15 students with various disabilities in open employment, many of who go on to gain full time work when leaving school rather than going on disabilities pensions and the like. This program is one of many that are in jeopardy if the funding is further reduced.

You could always write to David Gillespie as well as a Senator and demand we meet our moral responsibilities as a nation to support the education of all students with disabilities before handing out $65 billion in tax cuts to business.

James Langley

President, Camden Haven Teachers Association