Posted on 29. Nov, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government should urgently reinstate funding for Victoria’s successful Reading Recovery program, Shadow Education Minister, Rob Hulls, said today.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development northern region office has been forced to cut $100 million from their budget. It will mean any staff member, including Reading Recovery tutors, who resigns or whose contract expires will not be replaced.

The State Opposition is concerned other regions across the state will be hit by these cuts.

Mr Hulls said it appeared the program was the latest victim of the Baillieu Government’s $481 million funding cuts from the education budget.

“Mr Baillieu’s decision to slash almost $500 million from the education budget has now forced schools to cut tutors for the Reading Recovery program,” Mr Hulls said.

“Reading Recovery is an internationally recognised program that has achieved fantastic results for Victorian students.

“The tutors provide support to children who are struggling to read and write, so to cut the program is outrageous.

“The Baillieu Government promised its budget cuts would not impact on student education or front line services, yet the reality tells a different story.

“Education should be the Baillieu Government’s number one priority, but instead the Premier seems content in cutting important programs that benefit Victorian children.

Mr Hulls said in 12 months, the Baillieu Government had chipped away at Victorian students’ access to the best education.

“The education budget has been stripped of $481 million, the capital works budget halved, $50 million has been slashed from the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning program, and Mr Baillieu is refusing to honour his commitment to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in Australia,” he said.

“He has cut literacy and numeracy programs and scrapped 200 teaching and learning coaches.

“He has stripped $300 from the household budgets of 100,000 families by slashing eligibility for the School Start Bonus, refused to provide $2 million to fund Take-A-Break occasional child care program, abolished funding to build new children’s centres and scrapped free internet funding for kindergartens.”

“Whilst Mr Baillieu may have had a privileged educational experience, he has no right to deny a quality education to hundreds of thousands of Victorian kids.”

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