State budget provides for Victoria’s public schools and preschools, but misses the mark with TAFE

The Australian Education Union in Victoria has welcomed the state government’s investment in public schools and preschools, but is disappointed to see that the 2022-23 state budget has failed to address TAFE funding.

“We welcome the Victorian state government’s significant investment in the state's public schools and staff, including an extra 2000 teachers, a welcome funding boost to support students with disability, and record investment in new buildings and infrastructure,” said Meredith Peace, Australian Education Union Victorian branch president.

“The budget continues the important investment by the Andrews government in 15 hours per week of kindergarten for all Victorian three- and four-year-olds.

“Despite important investment in recent years, Victorians who rely on TAFEs to provide the vocational education they need will be disappointed with this budget.

“The state government’s own review makes it plain that Victoria’s TAFEs are not funded to cover the full cost of training. This budget does nothing to address this funding shortfall.

“Greater investment is needed to ensure high quality student learning and to attract and retain the next generation of TAFE teachers.”

The overall investment by the Andrews government in public education stands in stark contrast to the cuts and lack of investment by the federal Morrison government.

“As treasurer and prime minister, Scott Morrison has abandoned public education, leaving public schools underfunded without the resources needed to ensure every child in every school has access to the quality education they deserve.

“Last week the AEU released a report detailing the outrageous special deals the Morrison government has been making with private schools, while actively ignoring public schools and the students they serve. This is nothing short of reprehensible and irresponsible.

“The AEU has repeatedly called for the Federal and State Government to ensure that public schools are funded to at least 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), the minimum amount each student needs according to the needs-based funding model proposed by Gonski over a decade ago.

“The expiry of the current Bilateral Agreement in 2023 will provide an opportunity to renegotiate SRS funding targets. It is a chance for the Victorian Government to commit to delivering their share of the necessary funding and to continue to lobby the next federal government to remove the 20% cap on their funding of government schools.”

MEDIA CONTACT: DISHI GAHLOWT – 0434 159 833 – [email protected]

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