NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley, announced today that Labor, if elected in March, will give $5,000 a year to every public school P&C in the state to help provide some immediate financial relief to increasingly stretched school budgets.
Under the Liberals and Nationals, parents are being asked to deliver more for their schools, whether that’s buying basic stationary or more expensive items such as computer software.
Liberal cuts to education and their wrong priorities in spending $2.2 billion on stadiums has robbed schools of important funds.
Labor recognises that P&Cs are working harder than ever to supplement the work of teaching staff and principals to ensure children have all that they need, but they cannot do it alone.
This comes as independent research released yesterday shows that NSW parents pay more for a public school education than anywhere else in the country, particularly in regional and rural NSW. This research directly cited the ‘hidden’ costs of equipment and tuition, costs which Labor’s policy helps to ease.
“Every community has their experts and schools are no different. That’s why parents and the teachers will have a greater say in how they can support their local school,” Mr Daley said.
Labor’s plan is different to the grants that are currently available and which can be used for capital expenditure only. The money will go to the P&C Associations of all of the state’s 2,200-plus public schools and must be spent on additional resources for our children such as science equipment, library books, playground equipment, sports uniforms or teaching aids.
Any expenditure must be signed off by the school principal to ensure it meets the policy’s guidelines.
“Education works best when there is a link between families and schools and the P&C is that vital link,” Mr Daley added.
“The parents on P&Cs give so much of their time raising funds for their schools, the least government can do is give them a helping hand. Labor is giving back to those who give so much of their time.”
Shadow Education Minister Jihad Dib said: “This money is there to help P&Cs continue their good work. It is not there to plug the gap for the Government’s funding shortfalls for school maintenance or infrastructure.
“P&Cs are a school lifeblood, they are raising money all the time to pay for these items, they give so much - it’s time we give them a helping hand.”
NSW Labor’s policy is fully funded and has been costed by the Independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) at $11 million per year.