Tasmanian schools will see less federal government money

DROP: Concerns have been raised by disability advocates about a reduction in federal government funding for students.
DROP: Concerns have been raised by disability advocates about a reduction in federal government funding for students.

Tasmanian students with a disability will see $8 million in federal government funding for support services cut next year.

Senate budget estimates revealed loading funding for students with a disability in government schools would be reduced from $18 million this year to $10 million in 2018.

Funding will also decrease from $10 million this year to $8 million next year for students with a disability in Catholic schools.

Tasmania’s independent schools will see a $2 million drop in funding to $8 million.

The Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby founder Kristen Desmond was “appalled” by the reduction.

She said students with a disability were already under-resourced.

”It is well known that students with disability are not appropriately resourced nationally and to put in place a model that sees significant loss of resourcing for students with disability, in any State, is unacceptable,” she said.

But Tasmania’s Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff disputed the group’s comments.

He said the government would focus on funding for students with disability, and cited the annual allocation of $3 million from the Ministerial Taskforce on Support for Students with Disability.

“There is also $6 million more for students with disability in this year’s State Budget than there was last year,” he said.

“The overall global funding from the Australian Government for the Tasmanian Government sector for 2018 has not been impacted.

“The Tasmanian Government determines the distribution of all funding and will not be reducing funding to students with disability.”

Tasmania has the highest level of young people with disability compared to the national average.

Mrs Desmond called for the IQ-based funding system to be changed.

“This is leading directly to a reduction in federal funding for this State,” she said.

“IQ does not equal need.

“It is but one indicator and far too many students with disability are left without adequate support or in some cases no support at all.”