As a result of the Baillieu government’s education cuts families have missed out on assistance with paying for schoolbooks for their children, uniforms, transport costs and excursions. Some families who previously relied on assistance through the education maintenance allowance may simply have to say to their children that they will have to miss out on one or more excursions this year. Other families have not had the money up-front to purchase all the books needed for the school year.
The Baillieu government has taken away fundamental programs that children need to give them the best opportunity to learn and to participate fully in their schooling.
The Baillieu government’s cuts, whether they are to the education maintenance allowance, the Victorian certificate of applied learning, Free Fruit Friday, the School Start bonus or the School Focused Youth System, are hurting schools and families. Even last year the Warrnambool College principal said that the Baillieu government’s cuts were ‘a direct hit to the heart of the disadvantaged’ and ‘a hit to the notion of equality and an egalitarian society’. It is disgraceful that students who are most at risk are the ones increasingly bearing the brunt of the Baillieu government’s cost-saving measures.