On the back of announcing cuts to our public heath system, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has announced major funding cuts to our state education system.
Up to 1600 jobs will be lost through natural attrition. This is very concerning given the average age of our teachers. Many are "baby boomers" who are reaching the age of retirement.
The quality of education in our TAFE and public school systems will be severely eroded due to these funding cuts.
But there is worse news to come. The O'Farrell government plans to change the way our schools are funded. A planned move away from a funding model that is based on student numbers and individual school needs to change to a new model that hands economic management to school principals and community groups.
I can hear the populations cheering "at last we will have a say in the way our school is run". But beware the devil is in the detail of this new funding model.
Use of words like "local decision-making" will be used frequently as a clever smokescreen to mask what is really happening. We only have to look at the Victorian education-funding model that is in place. It is nothing less than a move to get the school principals and community groups to do the dirty work of a mean-spirited government.
As less funding is delivered year after year it will be the principals and community groups who will have to decide what services and jobs need to be cut.
The state government will wash its hands of any wrongdoing.
Cost-cutting funds will be banked by treasury and handed out to big corporations for the building of roads and bridges prior to the next election.
The money will not be put into community services or health funding.
Once the money is gone from health and education it is lost forever.
As a community we must stand up and fight these proposed changes to our education system.
The elected government was not given a mandate to slash our health and education systems. We have been hoodwinked and lied to again.