Our President Helen has been touring the state, visiting schools and workplaces, launching the Quality Education campaign.
The best part of my job is visiting workplaces and over the last three weeks I’ve been travelling the state, launching our Quality Education Campaign. I’ve had great conversations with members telling me that they need more teachers and support staff in our workplaces, so they can deliver programs and support that will make a difference to our kids.
Members are excited that we are taking our campaign to the community and to all political parties as we move towards a state election. Our message is clear, if we are to deliver quality education for all, Governments must make education the number one priority. We know that education can change lives and that our kids’ future is Tasmania’s future.
In the week we launched our ‘Quality Education for All’ Campaign, research by an independent policy analyst revealed that the Government diverted $51 million in federal funding from public schools. Oh, the irony.
Independent policy analyst Martyn Goddard released research showing that in 2015/2016, $51 million in GST money given for public school funding never made it through the school gate. This was money given to the state government for public education, and was instead diverted elsewhere, robbing schools of desperately needed resources.
In other news, however, we welcomed the government’s decision to support the Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS) until 2020. ECIS was under threat of closure due to the transition to the NDIS. For the last two years, the AEU and other stakeholders lobbied the State Government to continue support for the program.
We also welcomed the Government’s announcement that it is devising a model to change the way Tasmanian students with disabilities are funded in schools. The model will seek to shift away from the current IQ based funding to a fairer needs-based model. We look forward to hearing about further steps in making this new funding model a reality.
With the government’s recent backflips, on key education issues, it looks like they are finally starting to listen to our collective voice. It demonstrates the power of collective action to gain successes in the education sector. Never before have we run a campaign as massive and wide-reaching as the Quality Education for All campaign, and we can’t help but be excited at the potential for genuine change the campaign can deliver. Together, let’s continue to give them a very loud message, that we are standing as a union, calling on all political parties to commit to quality education for all Tasmanian students. So no Tasmanian child gets left behind because there aren’t enough teachers to give them the attention they need, support staff to help them with their complex needs, or school psychologists to help them through mental health challenges. We owe it to our kids.