In this week’s budget the State Government announced it would not fund capital upgrades for Catholic and independent schools.
In the 2018/19 budget, there is an allocation of $1.3 billion for new schools and existing school upgrades, but not one new dollar for Catholic and independent schools that educate 37 per cent of Victorian students.
Labor have chosen to shut the door on Ripon’s eight catholic primary schools, the Catholic Marian College of Ararat and the independent Highview College of Maryborough that educate thousands of young students from many different backgrounds.
Ripon MP Louise Staley said Catholic and Independent Schools deserved funding.
“Daniel Andrews’ savage funding cuts to Catholic and independent schools capital funding will adversely impact local students.” Ms Staley said.
“Local families that choose to send their child Catholic and independent schools should not be punished, a child’s right to education should be prioritised over any Governments political ideology.”
“Catholic and independent schools across Ripon are all low fee schools allowing many parents to exercise real choice between our many excellent government schools or a non-government alternative.”
Shadow Education Minister Tim Smith said that by shutting out non-government schools, the Andrews Government has added to the burden the state school system already faces.
“Catholic school communities already raise 80 per cent of every dollar they spend on capital works. That takes a real burden off the public purse.” Mr Smith said
“The Liberal Nationals are committed to providing choice to Victorian parents in education, noting there is a greater proportion of Victorian students in Catholic and independent schools than any other state in Australia.”
“Federal Labor has recently pledged to support the Catholic education sector, as the right thing to do for our nation. It’s incredibly disappointing that the notoriously left-wing Andrews Labor government has gone down the path of the divisive politics of yesteryear.”