Schools to close - 1 April action

Teachers, Education Assistants and support staff will again take to the streets to call for the Barnett Government to return the funding it has ripped out of WA’s public schools. Education Alliance members will also call on the Premier not to slash even more funding in the upcoming state budget.

The Alliance will be joined by members of the community, parents and Principals in a Community Day of Action on April 1st.

“It is no accident that we have chosen April Fools’ day for this action," said United Voice Secretary Carolyn Smith.

"The Premier is only fooling himself by claiming his cuts won’t hurt children’s education in this state.”

The government has cut $180 million from the education budget this financial year.

Despite an extra 11,000 students in classrooms across the state, 600 Full Time Equivalent teacher positions have also been cut.

“The education community has worked so hard to make sure WA has a world class education system, and we just can’t understand why the Premier is attacking that,” said SSTUWA President Pat Byrne.

Ms Smith said 350 Education Assistant positions have also been lost this year.

“This means children with learning disabilities and our most disadvantaged students will have less support, which has to have an effect on their learning outcomes,” she said.

Parents’ group SOS said the Education Alliance was giving parents plenty of notice of the action so they could make plans.

“It’s parents and children who will be most affected by these cuts and we hope they come along to show their support for this important community event,” said spokesman Tim Kucera.

CPSU/CSA Branch Assistant Secretary Rikki Hendon said the Premier would be invited to address the crowd.

“The Premier’s recent comments that people who are concerned about his government’s cuts to public education should “get a life” dismiss and belittle their valid concerns about the real and significant impact of the cuts in our schools,” she said.

“This event will give the whole community the opportunity to demonstrate to Mr Barnett that these cuts to public schools are real, they hurt and we won’t go away until they’re reversed.”

The Community Day will start at Langley Park at 10am followed by a march up St Georges Terrace to Parliament House, with speeches starting at 12pm.

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