Labor slashes Benalla College budget
15 May 2019
The Andrews Labor Government has slashed Benalla P-12 College’s budget, sparking fears of job losses, larger class sizes and program cuts.
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has hit out at the $1.67 million cut to the school’s bottom line which has been attributed to the closure of the Barkly St campus.
Staff at the school were shocked with news of the budget cuts, which is a tenth of the College’s overall budget, during an extraordinary meeting on Monday night.
“Daniel Andrews is boasting about funding French lessons for children in Brunswick kinders, while he sacks teachers and cuts classes in Benalla,” Ms Ryan said.
“James Merlino as the Education Minister must reverse this decision immediately. The community was never told that Benalla schools would receive less money if they merged as part of the regeneration project.
“We can’t afford to look the other way while the Andrews Government cuts the school’s budget.
“Increased class sizes with fewer teachers will only serve to entrench the disadvantage that the community has worked so hard to change.
“The Benalla community has worked together for years now to give local children the best access to opportunities and to improve student outcomes. It is gut-wrenching for teachers to now be told resources will be stripped away.
“Sixty per cent of students at Benalla College are disadvantaged, more than two and a half times the average Australian school. The school needs more funding and more specialist teachers and programs to address this disadvantage, not Labor’s budget cuts.”
Ms Ryan said teachers were concerned about the impact of the cuts on literacy and numeracy outcomes.
“Benalla College needs specialist programs to give vulnerable young people the best start to life,” Ms Ryan said.
“Students at Benalla College are having their opportunities stripped away by an arrogant and out-of-touch government which gives little thought to opportunities for country kids.
“These cuts make a complete mockery of Daniel Andrews’ claim that Victoria is the ‘education state’,” Ms Ryan said.