Education fight not over yet

Sjanna SandalovaGreat Southern Herald

The State Government has succumbed to pressure from the public, reversing a decision made last month to close the School of the Air.

In an announcement made last week, Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery acknowledged they made a rushed decision, with the Premier admitting Labor had gone “too far”.

Member for Roe Peter Rundle said although the backflip was a win for regional families, the fight was not over.

“Outraged regional education communities forced the Government to reverse the decision to close the School of the Air, Northam Residential College and cut funding to Gifted and Talented Education,” Mr Rundle said.

“However, the fight to keep Moora Residential College, and six camp schools open, reverse cuts to the Boarding Away from Home Allowance and put a stop to the Government raiding the Agricultural Education Farm Provisions Trust goes on.”

The decision to slash $64 million from the education budget came as a massive blow to regional families who would have suffered most and sparked angry protests Statewide.

Mr McGowan and Minister Ellery apologised for the distress caused by the cuts, reiterating the pressure to get the Budget under control.

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the McGowan Government should have listened to the community’s warning about withdrawing funding for country services.

“The State Government has only pledged to forgo a little more than a third of their planned cuts to education to save itself a bit of political pain — I still have three camp schools in my electorate that are facing the axe,” Mr Wilson said.

“The impact of withdrawing those services would be far more important to regional families, than the minuscule Budget savings.”

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