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March 5, 2021

Funding cuts to north coast schools

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Students in the computer room at Murwillumbah Public School, one of the north coast schools to be targeted by state government funding cuts. Photo courtesy Murwillumbah Public School
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A new school-funding model announced last week by NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli has resulted in cuts for more than 200 state schools, including a number on the north coast.

And NSW Labor opposition leader John Robertson has attacked the changes saying they ‘contradict the intent of the Gonski reforms’.

Tweed Heads Public School, Ballina Public School, Wardell Public School, Murwillumbah Public and Murwillumbah High School and will see a decrease in funding, as well as six public schools in Lismore LGA .

No schools in Byron Shire will be affected by the changes.

But Minister Piccoli has defended the cuts claiming other schools will see increased funding and that a new funding model called Resource Allocation Mode (RAM) will distribute funding more transparently and fairly, and was ‘made possible by the Gonski funding agreement’.

The Education Department website says RAM uses a combination of base funding and loadings.

‘The base component covers the cost of educating each student and operating a school. This base is then supplemented by a series of loadings for student- and school-based sources of disadvantage.’

But opposition leader John Robertson said, ‘the cuts blatantly contradict the intent of the Gonski reforms’.

‘This is a government that has already axed 1,800 jobs from schools and TAFE. It has cut Labor’s School Demountable Replacement Program. It has axed apprenticeship programs such as the Joint Group Training Scheme. At a time when youth unemployment is 17 per cent, Barry O’Farrell’s cuts are hurting our kids’ future.’


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