Vote education: Teachers and school staff unveil 60 candidates who support schools and TAFE

Tasmanian teachers, principals and school staff with the Australian Education Union today unveiled the name of 60 state election candidates who are committed to public education, local schools and TasTAFE.

The 60 candidates include Independents, Labor and Greens from all five lower house electorates, as well as the Upper House electorates of Derwent and Windermere.

“If you care about your local schools, about keeping TAFE working for Tasmanians and supporting students with disability and complex needs, there are 60 candidates you can vote for across Tasmania,” said David Genford, teacher and AEU Tasmania President.

“We need strong advocates for public schools, colleges and TasTAFE in Parliament and we’re naming those candidates so people can vote for those who support quality education.”

“The choice in this state election is clear – these 60 candidates who support our schools, colleges and TAFE or those who underfunded schools and want to privatise TasTAFE.”

The candidates given the public education tick include independents Kristie Johnson and Sue Hickey in Clark, Craig Garland in Braddon and Labor and Greens candidates in every electorate. The full list of candidates is available at: vote4education.org.au

“Public education is central to Tasmania’s economic recovery and ensures we create a fairer future for our kids and that’s worth voting for,” said Mr Genford.

The Australian Education Union sent a survey to all 113 state election candidates asking about their views on key public education policy areas.

Candidates who committed to fully funding public schools, keeping TasTAFE in public hands, supporting students with additional needs and employing more teachers were given a “tick” recommendation.

Candidates who were committed to privatising TasTAFE and underfund schools were given a “cross”.

“We surveyed all candidates and found 60 were committed to fully fund public schools and colleges, supporting students with disability and complex needs, investment not privatisation for TasTAFE and employing more quality educators.”

Not one Liberal Party candidate has received a tick on public education.

“The Liberal Party’s TasTAFE privatisation policy is an attack on public education and we cannot recommend a vote for candidates who want to make education about profit, not people.”

The Liberal Party did not respond to the candidate survey so they were marked on their current policies. The Liberal Party signed a bilateral funding agreement with the Commonwealth that underfunds Tasmanian public schools by nine percent out to the year 2027.

“Teachers, principals and school staff can’t recommend a vote for candidates who would leave every public school student more than a thousand dollars a year short of the funding required to secure them a quality education,” said Mr Genford.

“The Liberal Party is underfunding public schools by a total of $473 million between 2020 and 2023 – that is funding desperately needed to provide the one-on-one tailored support our students need to reach their potential.

“As a teacher and a parent, I know how important our local schools, colleges and TasTAFE are to Tasmania’s future.”

“This election, vote for your local schools, for our kids and for TasTAFE – vote for public education.”

Following is the full list of 60 candidates committed to public education:

Further information
Jon Stanger, AEU Tasmanian, Ph. 0437 374 125.

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