State Budget ignores teacher crisis on Public Education Day

The Tasmanian State Budget was a lesson in disappointment this Public Education Day, with no new steps to Lift Learning other than previously announced union-won measures in the new Tasmanian Teachers Agreement.

Australian Education Union Tasmania President David Genford said the Rockliff Government prettied-up its Education Budget spending, with already announced measures to hide its lack of investment.

“While it’s pleasing union-won Lifting Learning solutions have been budgeted for, Thursday’s Budget failed to provide a long-term plan to address the state’s education crisis,” he said,

“We need serious investment to get our schools and colleges on a path to where no student is left behind. But instead, our students are being let down by a Government unwilling to commit to their futures.”

Mr Genford said the Budget calls for $300m of efficiencies for departments to find.

“How do we expect to find trimmings when this Government has already reduced backline department staff to return to classrooms?” he said.

He said more was needed in the Budget to address Tasmania’s growing teacher attrition rate.

“We cannot afford to see another 271 educators walk away from the profession again this year,” he said.

“This Budget has done nothing to address this critical issue as we watch other states get proactive with their recruitment by offering significant incentives to address teacher shortages.

“Disappointingly, it’s Tasmania that now risks losing even more talented teachers to our mainland counterparts because the Rockliff Government has shown inaction on this crisis.”

He said immediate action was needed.

“This includes investing in professional development, reducing workload pressures, and providing competitive employment conditions and incentives to attract and retain teachers,” he said.

“We must ensure our education system is adequately funded and resourced, and that our educators are better valued and supported in their roles.

“It is disappointing that the only positive investment outcomes came from the need to close schools to show how serious this crisis is. Tasmania now needs a long-term plan that is budgeted to fix our teacher shortage.”