The Labor candidate for the state seat of Port Macquarie says plans to invest $5000 a year to every public school P&C is giving back to hard-working parents.
Peter Alley said he welcomed the decision, if Labor wins the March 23 election.
"A Daley Labor government will give $5000 a year to every public school P&C in NSW, to help provide some immediate financial relief for stretched school budgets," Mr Alley said.
"The money will go to the P&C Associations of all of the state’s 2200-plus public schools.
"It can be spent on additional resources for our children such as science equipment, library books, playground equipment, sports uniforms or teaching aids.
"Labor recognises that P&Cs are working harder than ever to supplement the work of teaching staff and principals to ensure that children have all they need."
Mr Alley said under the Coalition government, parents are being asked to give more to support school budgets, including buying basic stationary, computer software, and school supplies such as hand soap, paper towels, and whiteboard markers.
The candidate says the decision comes as independent research shows that NSW parents, particularly in regional and rural areas, are paying more for a public school education than anywhere else in the country.
This research explicitly cites the ‘hidden’ costs of equipment and tuition, he said.
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams says the current state government is delivering record funding that benefits every single student.
“In fact, the 2018-19 total Education Operating Budget is $15.7 billion an increase of 49.7% compared to Labor’s last budget," Mrs Williams said.
"Providing a flat $5000 to every school reeks of inequality and disadvantages some schools by ignoring their different size and complexities.
“Some schools have 20 students and others have 2000. Labor’s plan just doesn’t make sense.
“By contrast, the Coalition government have introduced Local Schools, Local Decisions that allows school Principals to allocate 70% of their record school budget as they see fit to meet the needs of their school community.
“Just in the past few years in the Port Macquarie electorate we have funded the Telegraph Point P&C with $24,000, Kendall Public School P&C $24,500, the Lord Howe Island Central school $25,000, Moorland Public School P&C $11,000 and North Haven Public School P&C $18,566,” Mrs Williams said.
Mr Alley said Labor is giving back to the parents in places like Upper Lansdowne, Herons Creek, Johns River and Telegraph Point.
"Every P&C in our region who give so much of their time to raise money, often through sausage sizzles and bake sales.
“With this contribution we also recognise that many working parents are unable to give their time to support their P&Cs,” he said.
Mr Alley said Labor was putting schools and hospitals first while the Coalition have committed to splurging $2 billion to knock down and rebuild perfectly good stadiums in Sydney.
Labor’s plan is different to the grants that are currently available and which can be used for capital expenditure only, the candidate said.
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