Recently I wrote to my local member (who is also The Premier) to express my concerns at the cuts to education in New South Wales. In this email I had expressed my concerns about cuts to Independent school funding. While I teach in the Independent sector I am as much concerned about the whole sector than just my own obvious self interests.
Dear Mr O’Farrell,
Thank you for your reply to me regarding Government funding cuts to education. While we all recognise the need for good fiscal management the cutting of funding in the education sector is very counter productive.
My original concern was with the reduction of funding to Independent schools and the negative consequences of this impacting the Public Purse i.e. higher school fees = less affordability = greater demands on the Public system = more cost to Public Purse. Can’t see the logic in this. You can’t rely on the Independent sector holding their fees down when they have increasing costs.
Additionally I notice that you are making cuts to TAFE. One of my daughters attended TAFE and her education and preparation for the workplace was made possible through this organisation. This too is a destructive action. If the quality of TAFE courses or the possible preparation of young people for the workforce is compromised we will suffer the consequences via higher unemployment and a shortage of skilled workers.
The cutting of support staff in State / regional offices of the Dept etc is also counterproductive and ill advised. I say this because now is a particularly crucial time in education, in NSW, with the looming implementation of the National Curriculum. Clearly without adequate support and necessary leadership the big losers will be our children.
While we all know that the ALP State Government were poor fiscal managers it would be much worse to leave a legacy of a failed education system behind because fixing the results of that would be impossible.