Premier Jay Weatherill’s $190 million education budget cuts are now starting to bite and will have an increasingly negative impact on South Australian schools.
“Today’s news that Unley and Pasadena High School are in amalgamation talks should not come as any surprise,” said Shadow Education Minister David Pisoni.
“Jay Weatherill first forced school mergers when he was Education Minister as part of a string of budget cuts announced in Labor’s 2010 State Budget.
“Labor’s budget papers identified savings of nearly $3 million per year by forcing primary school amalgamations.
“Now Labor are starting on high schools as part of Minister Susan Close’s cuts.”
In 2012, school mergers were forced on 42 school communities, 38 of which had opposed the mergers. Labor’s then Education Minister, Grace Portolesi, ignored parents, principals and staff stating in Parliament that:
“We make the call on how best to invest our resources.”
“You just can’t trust Labor when they say that school communities are driving these amalgamation talks,” said Mr Pisoni.
Today the Minister must come clean and answer the following questions:
- How many other department schools are in merger talks?
- Who initiated the school merger talks?
- Will the Minister force the amalgamations of schools, as her predecessor did in 2012?
- How will the mergers effect school zones?
“Less than three years after Linden Park Primary School was forced to amalgamate, students living in the school zone were locked out of attending the school,” said Mr Pisoni.
“The Minister must explain why she has not been upfront with parents on her plans to amalgamate metropolitan high schools.”