[lg policy] Australia: Greens announce $1bn teacher plan in education policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 2 14:13:52 UTC 2013

Greens announce $1bn teacher plan in education policy

   - Sarah Blake
   -  News Limited Network
   - September 02, 2013 1:00AM


 "Australian teachers and principals are under huge amounts of pressure." -
Senator Christine Milne.

* ALMOST a third of public schools would have an extra teacher under the
Greens education policy, to be announced today *

There would also be expanded music and Asian language offerings in the
curriculum, along with science and maths.

Greens leader Christine Milne will make a $1 billion pledge to add more
than 2200 new teachers to disadvantaged public schools.

It follows a Greens-led Senate inquiry in June that found concerns about
Naplan testing were diverting focus from the curriculum and placing
unnecessary stress on teachers and students.

"Australian teachers and principals are under huge amounts of pressure and
feel extra administrative burdens are pulling them away from time with
students in the classroom," Senator Milne said.

"An extra teacher in disadvantaged schools would mean more time for lesson
planning and more time for engaging with students, parents and the
community or smaller class sizes."

The Greens would also create $100 million in well-being grants to increase
mental health and social workers in schools, and commit $20 million to
professional development for teachers.

There would be $10 million towards an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
language component in the national curriculum and $60 million to increasing
the take up of Asian languages.

This policy direction is reflected by both the Coalition and Labor plans to
build on the approximate 5 per cent of students who learn Asian languages
in Year 12.

A further $20 million would go to expanding music lessons and $10 million
towards buying new musical instruments for public schools.

There is $1 billion in new spending in today's announcement and the Greens
have previously committed $2 billion on top of current government
expenditure over the next three years.

"Improving our public education system is one of the best investments our
nation can make," says Greens education spokesperson Penny Wright.

"The Australian Greens will invest a total of $3 billion in the next three
years to make this a reality."

Senator Milne will also call on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to reveal
Coalition costings earlier than the end of this week.

"We have no idea how vicious and deep Tony Abbott's cuts will be.
Regardless of what happens on September 7 the Greens will stand up for our
teachers and disadvantaged students in the Senate," she says.

Read more:

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