Victorian school library funding from the state?

11 02 2008

There’s an interesting comment at the end of this report, taken from today’s Age.

On the issue of  payrise demands from Victorian school teachers,

Matt Nurse, spokesman for Education Minister Bronwyn Pike, said the Government wanted to lift standards in schools and find better career pathways for teachers.

But giving teachers a 10% wage rise and better working conditions would cost taxpayers $8 billion, he said.

“If we agreed to this claim we would have no money left for new classrooms, new technology or libraries for our students,” Mr Nurse said.

Now, correct me if I am wrong Ms Pike or Mr Nurse, but I’m not aware that the Victorian state government does put money into school libraries.  No, the one-off PRC grants do not count.  I believe schools are allocated a global fund and this money is distributed as each principal sees fit.  The problem is though, that not all principals value libraries, so don’t really invest in them all that much.  Sure, there may be a space allocated for a collection of resources, but unless they also appoint the staff to work there, the door remains locked for much of the school year.  

 I don’t mind the Education Department pointing out that the money needs to come from somewhere, but please don’t pretend that it threatens library funding.  You don’t provide any.




One response

11 02 2008

What I find interesting about the comment re libraries is that it seems to imply that libraries are ‘extra’, instead of an integral part of the school. Funding MUST be made available annually to individual school libraries via the global budget, but there must be some standards/ policy to ensure the money is spent on library resources. Unfortunately as you say Leonie, this is often at the whim of a principal.

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