Page 2363 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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that form the education budget this year. I note that it is not just the other political parties who have welcomed this year’s education budget. I welcome the very supportive comments of Jane Gorrie of the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations, amongst others, who made a range of statements, including:

There has been … positive things for public education out of the budget …

We welcome the focus on teacher quality and support …

… we welcome the funding that has been provided for Indigenous children within family support services. We welcome that initiative and we welcome the ongoing capital funding … something in particular is the musical instruments. That is excellent. The Calwell High Performing Arts Centre, as well, is welcome—to have one on the south side as well as one on the north side …

The ACT Council of Parents’ and Citizens’ Associations welcomes the additional funds in areas such as teacher development, literacy and numeracy, students with a disability, and performing arts.

Council also welcomes the decision to provide specialist vocational education training and careers teachers in each government college from next year.

The Australian Education Union indicated:

The ACT Government’s 2008-09 Budget will win support for responding to a broad range of needs identified in the public education system with wide-ranging programs.

I might go so far as to quote from an organisation that I would very rarely quote from, but even Mr Cobbold from Save Our Schools was prepared to welcome the budget’s initiatives. He said:

Several are well-targeted and should contribute to reducing the long-standing achievement gap between students from high and low income families.

So I welcome the comments from those education stakeholders. I note that Jeremy Irvine, the executive director of the Association of Independent Schools, said:

It is fair to say that we are generally pleased with the budget.

… we welcome the increase in the indexation rate applied to ACT non-government schools …

Ruth Underwood, the school administrator at Orana School, says:

… we greatly appreciate the increase in funding that we have received.

Kate Lyttle, the executive officer of the Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools, in her comments on the budget, said:

The commitment to a further four years of special funding for students with disability also indicates that the Government has listened to the sector and supports our stated priorities.

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