WA Premier McGowan and his WA Labor Government have announced $64 million of cuts to the regional Education Department budget, forcing the closure of:
- the School of the Air
- six Camp Schools
- the Moora and Northam Residential Agricultural Colleges and;
- the Landsdale Farm School.
The cuts will also deliver a reduction in funding of 25% for the Gifted and Talented program along with a 120% increase an VacSwim fees. They will also be reducing or ceasing other grants previously provided to external organisations.
This is on top of the already announced closure of Aboriginal education offices across regional WA and the significant cuts to the Boarding Away from Home Allowance for remote and isolated families to attend school in regional centres or Perth.
This WA Labor Government also plans to cut 800 Education Department staff positions from the current total of 1200, mostly through forced redundancies.
While this is currently only going to happen WA, we need support from across the country. If the proposed changes go ahead, what is to stop other state governments from following suit?
HOW YOU CAN HELP
STATEMENT OF IMPACT
Statements of impact are usually presented in court by victims of crime. However, we feel it would be invaluable to present such statements to the WA government from all of the people who will be affected by the proposed changes. This extends not just to those in WA, but anyone who would be affected if such changes were to happen in their state also. Statements can discuss how the changes will affect a person physically, emotionally, financially & socially. Please include your full name and location on the impact statement, and your relationship to the issue (e.g. parent, student, teacher, member of the public etc)
Email the Statement of Impact to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1 2018.
SHARE YOUR STORY IN A BLOG
This website has published over 900 stories of people living and working in regional Australia since 2013, many relating to raising and educating children in the outback. You can see posts from ICPA members here and posts from the Kimberley SOTA here. We need people who have been involved with any School of the Air within Australia, past, present, or future, to share their story. Blogs will be used in 2 ways: 1) To engage the general public in the issue, allow them, to learn about SOTA and the people involved, and give them a reason to support us, 2) To be presented to the government along with the Impacy Statements. Please send blogs to email@example.com by March 1 2018 so we can present them to Parliament and publish them online. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help with your blog.
The difference between an Impact Statement and a blog: An Impact Statement is directed toward the Government and Ministers, discussing the issue of the closure and the effect it would have on the individual writing it, and their community. It is a formal piece of writing. A blog is a story – they are informal, include photographs, and should be more so on the topic of School of the Air, versus focusing on closing SOTA, though that can be addressed in the blog. The blogs are to be aimed at the general public, so those who are not familiar with SOTA can become so and have an opportunity to understand how important it is. We will be publishing the blogs to raise awareness of what School of the Air is, what it does, and why this issue is important.
HARD COPY PETITION
Only hard copy petitions can be presented in Parliament. Download the hard copy petition here: https://goo.gl/9yCPj9
Sign the online petition here: https://www.change.org/p/sue-ellery-stop-the-wa-labor-government-from-scrapping-valuable-regional-education-for-our-children
SHARE THE FACTS
Follow the Facebook page here: Save Our Schools of the Air
Join the Facebook group here: Save Our Schools of the Air group
Follow on Twitter here: Save our WA Schools of the Air
ISOLATED CHILDREN’S PARENT’S ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP
Become a member of the Isolated Children’s Parent’s Association, anyone can join: Join here
Follow ICPA on Facebook: ICPA Aust – Isolated Children’s Parents’ Associaiton