The Australian Education Union’s (AEU) federal president, Correna Haythorpe, has accused the Abbott Government of having “abandoned” its promise to students with disability by not funding disability loading for schools.
“Students with disability have been let down again by a Federal Budget that fails to deliver funding for a vitally needed 'disability loading' for schools,” Haythorpe said in a statement.
"Minister Pyne's boast that 2015/16 will see record funding for disability simply reflects indexation of the current interim loading, not the genuine boost to disability support in schools that we need."
Haythorpe said that the $1.3bn promised in the May Budget does not adequately address the 100,000 students with a disability in “urgent” need of support.
"Schools are struggling to provide a quality education for students with disability, because they do not have the resources to do so,” Haythorpe said, adding that providing in-class support, equipment and individual learning plans for students with disability requires additional funding that the Budget does not deliver on.
"How can we expect students with disability to find jobs if we cannot give them the opportunity of a quality education?”
Pointing out the refusal of the Federal Government to commit to the final two years of Gonski funding reforms, Haythorpe said that the states and territories must now put pressure on the Abbott Government to deliver the rest of the funding.
"State Premiers who have signed Gonski agreements have to make Tony Abbott accountable for delivering the extra funding schools and students with disability are relying on," Haythorpe said.