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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 8 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 2559..


MR BARR (continuing):

The success of schools-based management has left Canberra schools with around $23.5 million to spend on improving facilities and educational opportunities for their students, according to Education Minister Bill Stefaniak.

Mr Stefaniak said that the ACT schools have a combined bank balance of around $23.5 million, thanks largely to substantial savings delivered by enhanced schools-based management. The bank balances include a first part payment for 2000 and the schools are still to receive a further $80.5 million.

Schools-based management was introduced to allow schools more autonomy in their finances and to potentially make savings to spend on other areas of education.

Here is the killer. The media release states that Mr Stefaniak, the education minister, said:

The system is obviously working to the point that after three years schools have built up their bank balances to more than $23.5 million.

Mr Stefaniak said it was encouraging to see some schools starting to use their savings to deliver a wide range of extra services for students and staff.

He goes on to give some very nice examples, not dissimilar to the ones I gave in question time yesterday. He then goes on to talk about how proud he is of the former government's education spending record and how it was building up education spending over each of its six consecutive years in government.

It is fascinating that seven years on, they are deriding a system that they introduced in this place. Mrs Dunne has been saying that this is as a result of the fact that school bank balances are up in 2007 and that it is a disgrace that schools and the government are not managing their funds appropriately. Yet back when the leader of the opposition was education minister in 2000, when schools had about $2 million more in their bank accounts than they currently do when the most recent figures were released, this was put forward as a great success, as a great triumph. What a bunch of hypocrites Liberal opposition members are!

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 12.33 am until Tuesday, 25 September 2007 at 10.30 am.


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