Budget come as no surprise to BSSC principal

THE federal government's decision to scrap the final two years of the Better Schools funding agreement has not come as a surprise to Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce. 

The last two years of the original six-year agreement were to deliver the majority of the money but instead school funding will be indexed to inflation from 2018. 

Mr Pearce said schools would see very little, if any, increases in funding over the next two or three years. 

"The Victorian state government and a number of other state governments signed agreements with the previous (federal) government and expected those to be honoured," he said. 

"The issue is that the significant needs in this and every other public school in Australia are not going to be met.

"There are a range of things we would like to do that we won't be able to do. 

"It means the hopes of our school and others have been dashed but it is not unexpected." 

Mr Pearce said the federal government went into the last election saying it would commit to the Better Schools funding agreement for four years. 

He said he was concerned the federal government had pushed the responsibility of funding to the states. 

"The federal government is passing the responsibility of funding back to the states and they're going to index any increase to the consumer price index," he said. 

"It means that unless the state government finds more money, any increase in funding for government schools including salaries will always be tied to the CPI. 

"And we know that the CPI doesn't necessarily reflect the cost of running a school."

Mr Pearce said he was always concerned about changes to university funding and the deregulation of fees. 

"It will be interesting to see if university education becomes more difficult to afford for some students," he said. 

Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals president Frank Sal said the federal budget was “hugely disappointing” for schools.

“I think the budget has really made a lie of the federal government's commitment to education prior to the last election,” he said.

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