Today education minister Peter Garrett issued a release that the National Partnership Agreements will be extended to 1000 more schools next year.
Please let parents and citizens know they are being hoodwinked. Write to local papers. Spread the truth of NPAs and local control.
Parents and citizens beware. Global budgeting and staffing in schools is sold to the community as a way for principals and schools to determine their own needs. In reality, they have become a means by which governments of all persuasions have been able to continually slash education budgets without having to wear the pain. The responsibility, and blame, is handed over to local school principals and parent boards.
Our situation is part of a much larger issue of declining education funding. Over the past 20 years, education funding in Australia has declined, as funding in other OECD countries has increased. We are now among the lowest funding countries in the developed world, 28th after Lithuania and Greece.
Under local control of staffing, principals have to hire from reduced budgets and cash in specialist teachers no longer quarantined in staffing formulas. The National Partnership Agreements give schools extra funds to experiment with staffing mixes. What a surprise that they are happier with more staff! But with the reality of state funding cuts, this school based management is the reason we have hemorrhaged specialist teachers such as counsellors and teacher librarians around the country for the past two decades.
Now NSW wants to follow suit. Don’t be hoodwinked by Local Schools, Local Decisions. There is plentiful evidence to show qualified teacher librarians improve student literacy and learning. There is no evidence to show that localized staffing, and the dismantling of a state transfer system which ensures teachers in country regions, will improve student learning.
NSWTF on 47 NPA trial schools <http://www.nswtf.org.au/journal/education-92-11/index.html>
NSW next in line <http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/nsw-next-in-line/>