Friday, July 13, 2012


It's been an encouraging week for me in the area of "Activism".  My local paper should be publishing a story based on a letter I wrote them about the NSW Governments "Every Student Every School" funding changes, and I've been in touch with some people who are just as fired up as I am, and there are some good things happening!

I'm now happily a member of a newly formed group called "Families Against Disability Discrimination (FAMADD)".

I'd like to share with you some information and an event organised by FAMADD, this coming Sunday.
I'll be doing my utmost to be there, despite the short notice!!  I hope to meet some of you there too.

The O’Farrell Government has cut funding to support students with disabilities in 272 schools across NSW. Here is the list of schools affected -

These cuts take effect from the start of Term 3 – that’s next Monday July 16!

Hundreds and hundreds of students in primary and high schools will be affected, leaving them without the classroom support from learning support officers (also known as 'teachers aides'). Our learning support officers are losing their jobs or losing hours of work.

Parents fear that the result is that students will learn less, will be subject to greater isolation and bullying and ultimately be at greater risk of alienation at school and as young adults in society.

So we need you, your families, friends and neighbours this Sunday!
Come to a Rally & Press conference!!
Sunday July 15
the Graham Green
(The park next to Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design, enter via Fairfowl St, off Marrickville Rd) 
Dulwich Hill, Sydney

Why is this happening?

The NSW Government has changed how disability support is funded so that it is based on a formula that combines the school’s NAPLAN results, general prevalence of autism in the local community and school enrolment figures.

But a student’s individual needs will not be taken into account and this is unfair.

It could also be discriminatory - the Disability Standards in education in the Disability Discrimination Act, require “schools to treat students with disabilities on the same basis as students without disability”. How will students with disabilities be treated on the same basis if they don’t have the support to participate in the classroom?!

What we want

1.     Immediate reinstatement of the lost funding to the 272 schools (but not at the expense of the schools that have benefitted from recent additional funding).
2.     A revised funding formula that does not disadvantage any student with a disability and guarantees that now and in the future, every student will receive the amount of funding that is required to meet their needs.
3.     An increase in the number of permanent Learning Support Officers to retain experience.
4.     A register of Long Term Temporary Learning Support Officers to enable schools to source experienced Learning Support Officers.

This rally and press conference is being organised by the Public Service Association (PSA) representing learning support officers, along with Families Against Disability Discrimination (FAMADD), a group of concerned parents and supporters.

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