Red Leather #100 | Special Edition
The 100th Edition of Red Leather was originally going to be a retrospective on the development of this little enews, a readers survey and a reflection on my last seven years in the parliament.
That was until the O'Farrell Government decided that cutting $1.7billion from the NSW Education budget was going to "make NSW 1 again".
The 100th edition of Red Leather is devoted to informing you about the cuts and asking all of you who care about education in NSW to join the campaign to stop these cuts.
These are the biggest cuts to education in twenty years:
- cutting $1.7 billion to be cut from public schools, Catholic schools, independent schools and TAFE colleges;
- 1800 teachers, TAFE teachers and support staff to be sacked;
- TAFE fees to increase by 9.5 per cent; and
- in a particularly petty move, the Government will stop subsidising Fine Arts courses at TAFE.
For more information on the impact check out the debate in the Legislative Council last week.
The NSW Teachers Federation, the NSW P&C, TAFE, the Catholic and Independent schools are all undertaking campaigns.
I will be writing to Labor Party members in my duty electorates to provide more information. If you want to get more involved in the campaign, please contact my office via this email or call (02) 9230 2741.
In the meantime - download the petition and get involved.
What are the facts?
The Government claims that these cuts are necessary because of falling GST revenue.
But Mike Baird is being tricky with the truth. His last Budget included an unrealistic 9% increase in GST revenue for 2011/12.
The Treasurer is now trying to cry poor to avoid being caught out over-inflating forecast budget revenue figures.
The school funding cuts will affect:
- 1,629 primary schools;
- 67 central schools in the smallest communities in this State;
- 398 high schools;
- 113 schools for special purposes that deal with the most vulnerable children and their families; and
- every independent and Catholic School in NSW.
Every single school, in every community across the state will be affected by these cuts.
For more info on what this will mean to your local school check out www.stopthecuts.com.au/your-school.aspx
It has been revealed that Education Minister Adrian Piccoli and 15 government MPs signed a pledge promising to guarantee TAFE funding and hire more TAFE teachers – ahead of their decision to cut an unprecedented $1.7 billion in education funding for NSW.
See how this will affect your local TAFE here: www.stopthecuts.com.au/your-tafe.aspx
How can you help?
Labor strongly opposes these cuts and is campaigning to have them overturned.
Last week, along with NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson, Shadow Education Minister Carmel Tebbut and local councillors Linda Kelly and Simon Emsley, I visited Father John Therry Primary School and Balmain Public School to talk to local teachers and parents and launch a petition to stop the cuts.
Sign a petition
We are collecting signatures to stop the cuts to schools and TAFE. Download a petition, print it off and get your family and friends to sign it.
Remember to return them to my office – under the Parliament’s rules we must submit signed originals (not scanned or faxed versions).
The Hon. Penny Sharpe, MLC
Sydney NSW 2000
On the weekend, I collected signatures to stop the cuts at Glebe markets with local Glebe Labor activists including Tim Kaldor (above).
Come along to the Inner West education forum on 7 November
When: 6.30 pm, 7 November 2012.
Where: Leichhardt Town Hall, 107 Norton Street Leichhardt
What: A public forum for inner west residents to stop the cuts to education (speakers TBA)
You can also:
- Help by writing a letter to a newspaper editor.
- Help by making a small contribution to our Fighting Fund - your donation will help us send emails, print and circulate petitions and call voters around the state
- Follow the campaign of Facebook www.facebook.com/StopLiberalEducationCuts
- Tweet your opposition to gutting education using the hashtag #stopthecuts
- Write to your local Member of Parliament explaining why you oppose these cuts.
- Start a conversation. Speak with your friends, family and neighbours about this issue.