Students with disability to be hardest hit

Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby spokeswoman Kristen Desmond
Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby spokeswoman Kristen Desmond

TASMANIAN students with disability can expect to be some of the hardest hit under the federal Liberal government's budget.

It was revealed this week that students will not receive Gonski disability loadings from 2015 as originally promised by the government and they will also see their state government funding cut under the Respectful School Model at the end of the year.

Tasmania is in a unique situation in that it does not recognise, so does not fund to the same level, many students with disability compared with other states.

Under the former Labor state government, a one-year funding scheme was devised as a stop-gap measure until Gonski loadings rolled out in full next year.

Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby spokeswoman Kristen Desmond said no one was sure what funding there would be next year, and families were going to find things very hard.

"The big problem for families will be there will be no loadings from next year and the bulk of the (Gonski) funding to flow in 2017-18 that has been dropped, included that of disability funding," she said.

Ms Desmond said the state Liberals' promise of an independent review was more crucial than ever to address this significant oversight in Tasmania.

Australian Education Union state president Terry Polglase said he was unsure what this meant yet for families with students with disability but expected there to be some angry parents.

He said any lack of funding or shortfall would have to be made up by schools direct from their budget, and this would put a greater burden on them.

Mr Polglase said the $245 million set aside for chaplains should instead go to funding students with disabilities.

He said 3700 schools were set to receive this funding, which equated to $72,000 each, and it could have been much better spent.

Independent Education Union of Australia federal secretary Chris Watt backed this call and said no one was asking for additional funding yet they got it, and they would now lobby senators to make an amendment to the budget.


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