LABOR AXES SCHOOLS’ PROGRAMMES
|25th January, 2008|
Local Schools returning to work this week will be shocked to learn that the Rudd Labor Government has axed two of the most popular programmes of the previous Coalition Government to improve School amenities, Federal Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss, said today.
Mr Truss said Labor has abolished the $1.2 billion Investing In Our Schools Programme and the Green Vouchers for Schools Scheme.
Almost every local School had received funding of up to $150,000 from the Investing In Our Schools Programme (IOSP) for projects they had chosen. School communities had relied on this funding to upgrade playgrounds, purchase computers and books, and to provide other facilities to make up for State Government funding shortfalls.
The $336 million Green Vouchers for Schools Programme began in the middle of last year and provided funding of up to $50,000 to help Schools install rainwater tanks, solar hot water systems etc. Only about a third of Schools have so far received their grant, yet Labor has now announced the Programme has been abolished. It is not clear what will happen to existing commitments made under the Scheme.
Last February, Kevin Rudd said the IOSP was “worthy of bi-partisan support, you bet”. Now he has annexed the programme with no replacement.
Labor plans its own solar and rainwater programme for Schools, but Schools will have no choice on how to spend more limited money available.
Mr Truss says Labor is being incredibly short-sighted in axing these popular Programmes.
The burden of providing funding for essential projects not funded by the State will now fall back on Parents and Citizens’ Associations or the projects will just not happen at all.
Not once did Kevin Rudd indicate before the election that his “education revolution” meant axing Investing In Our Schools funding and the Green Vouchers Scheme. Mr Rudd must now explain to Schools how essential infrastructure will be funded in the future.
The Rudd Labor Government’s first actions in education do not sound like much of a revolution to me.