Sunday, June 14, 2009

National cuts Adult and Community Education funding

Cuts to Adult and Community Education funding (ACE) pushed through by the National Government is a grave issue and a real attack on a primary learning tool for workers.

The cuts kick in from January 1, 2010 and will result in a drop in funding to the sector of $152 million over four years –$19.4 million from January 1, 2010 to June 2010, $40.4 million in 2010-2011, $44.7 million in 2011-2012, and $48.4 million in 2012-2013.

From the Star on Friday:

"Many people will simply not be able to afford adult classes, so The Star believes the cuts are a brutally bad decision - particularly when the Government has just injected $35million into private schools..."

National has been making large cuts to a number of vital resources, including Sustainable Learning programs and Early Childhood Education (to name just a few among many). Naturally, when a vast majority of people have no control whatsoever over the decisions that most deeply and directly affect their lives, the few — who own or control the means of production, accumulate wealth, make the laws — will use the whole machinery of the State to perpetuate and reinforce their positions as it deems fit.

From Scoop:

"It was a neat cover-up on budget night. The government painted education as a winner because overall education funding increased by 2.9 percent from $10.5 billion to $10.8 billion. Not bad in the teeth of a developing recession. However most of the extra spending was for capital development for new schools and what was hidden from view was a wide range of savage cuts in all areas of public education.

The funding cuts for ACE are particularly harsh and it is here that the greatest community impact will be felt. Funding for these programmes in the tertiary sector has been almost halved while the subsidies high school night classes have been slashed by four fifths."

Not sure yet what kind of community resistance to these cuts is being formed (besides the Labour Party's petition) and calls for emailing your local National MP. Are ACE organising protest action? WEA? Trying to get in touch with ACE and community netwoks at the moment but please post if there is any community or workplace resistance/direct action being formed in your area.

In solidarity.


Amanda said...

I have noticed with National's budget that the majority of cuts have been in the community sector and the cash injections have been to the benefit of the rich. Now I know that this is typical of a National government, but I feel that it has all been very underhanded and sneaky. It almost seems that there has been no real transparency and honesty around the government spending. These cuts are slowly coming out in the open weeks after the budget was released.

In fact it has been making me really mad. I noticed, doing the wages at work, that the people earning higher incomes had tax cuts, whereas myself, on a significantly smaller income actually had a tax increase. This just makes no sense.
It also makes no sense that they have cut Pathways to Partnership funding (100% funding* for essential services in the communty sector) whilst they maintain campaigns such as "Family violence is not ok". They cut the funding to the services that people will contact due to the campaign so that the services are not able to cope with the increased demand etc.
Where is the sense in that. Continuing the campaign is great, but a waste of time if there are no services to help the people that seek help.
* What is determined as 100% and essential services are debateable, but it was an effort and a rather big increase to guaranteed funding.

Anyway, sorry for taking over your blog Jared. I should just vent on my own.


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