Budget fails public education students

AEU SA Branch media release: Tuesday 10 November 2020

The Marshall State Government has once again failed to properly invest in public education – preschools, schools and TAFE - to the detriment of children, students and educators, desperate to access support services addressing learning needs. This Government presides over a waiting list of 18 months for students in need to access education psychologists and behavioural support. 

“World Class Education is empty rhetoric if students don’t have the basic support to address learning needs, mental health and wellbeing.” said Ms Lara Golding, President of the Australian Education Union SA Branch.

“Traumatised and disengaged students need support just to be ready to learn. This budget fails to meet the critical needs of our most vulnerable children and young people.

“Paltry funding to maintain schools and preschools will not address years of under-resourcing. Significant extra funding is needed to ensure that all students in the state have access to world class education facilities.”

Meanwhile, cuts to TAFE courses will increase barriers to retrain for unemployed and isolated South Australians.

“It’s clear that the Marshall Government intends to continue with its privatisation agenda,” said Ms Golding.

“The budget for TAFE is smoke and mirrors. By handing over courses to private for profit providers this Government is deserting TAFE in the long term.

“There’s a fundamental ideological flaw in this government’s thinking. A range of stimulus spending has been announced but it’s a short term economic sugar hit, not the long term investment that is required. Significant investment in public education creates long term learning opportunities for all young South Australians to be inventive, entrepreneurial and contribute to the development of the SA economy.

Before COVID the Marshall Government underfunded preschools, schools and TAFE. During COVID South Australians realised the essential role of public education and its education workers. This budget indicates that after COVID the Marshall Government will still fail to ensure SA schools reach the national resource standard and is committed to running TAFE into the ground. 

“If funding for public education was a new road project it would be a cul-de-sac.”