A fair go for all: Schools campaign launched

The Nationals have launched a Fair School Bonus campaign to highlight regional Victorians being blatantly ignored by Labor.

So many families are unfairly excluded in the Allan Labor Government’s inequitable School Saving Bonus, and it is time all were given a fair go.

The $400 bonus, introduced in the State Budget, is automatically granted to all Victorian government school students, but is rigorously restricted for students in low-fee Catholic and independent schools.

Regional families should not miss out based solely on their choice of school, yet many will be ignored amidst the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The Nationals’ Member for Eastern Victoria, and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education Melina Bath, is urging regional Victorians to back the campaign by visiting vicn.at/schoolsavingbonus

“If the Allan Labor Government is serious in supporting regional Victorian families with cost-of-living assistance, they should do it equally,” Ms Bath said.

“It is blatantly unfair that hard working families are left behind simply because of their choice of school.

“All families face significant cost of living pressures, but because they have chosen a faith-based or independent education, Labor is ignoring them.

“Labor’s wasteful spending over the last 10 years has created the worst economic conditions we’ve seen in decades, and its school saving bonus is an attempt by the Allan Government to cover up its failings to adequately invest in education.

“In the recent state budget, we’ve seen a string of broken promises of much needed capital upgrades to dozens of schools across the state.”

Listening to the concerns of parents at an upper house Inquiry into Education, Ms Bath said that many families frustrated with the state education system are turning to low fee-paying independent schools.

“Chronic teacher shortages and fundamental pressures in public education is resulting in families voting with their feet and moving their children to low fee-paying private schools in regional areas.

“Any criteria for receiving extra education support should be distributed fairly using a financial threshold so support flows to those families who need it most.

“Labor is simply attempting to make the balance sheet for public education look better funded than it is.

“Labor can’t manage money and regional Victorian families are paying the price.”