School funding cuts upset parents

LAST week's announcement of a $1.7 billion budget cut in education funding from the NSW government has angered teachers, parents and MPs.

Cabramatta MP Nick Lalich and Fairfield MP Guy Zangari were outside St Johns Park Public School on Monday morning asking parents to sign a petition to reverse Premier Barry O'Farrell's decision.

Both said the decision would affect class sizes, school fees and school standards for children in public and private education.

The president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Maurie Mulheron, said the cuts would have a "dramatic impact" on the quality of education.

"This is really devastating news," he said.

"It's the biggest cuts in public education in the history of NSW because, unlike the Metherell cuts, these cuts involve a permanent structural change."

Mandy Wong, who has a seven-year-old son at St Johns Park Public School, is especially unhappy about the lack of investment in public education and says children need more funding for their education.

"The funding cuts are not good for them," she said. "We need our government's support."

The Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, said tough decisions had to be made to build a sustainable future in education.

"The government is receiving $2.5 billion less in revenue each year since we were elected," he said. "General expenses in the education portfolio have outstripped growth in government revenue and this is simply unsustainable.

"We must focus on delivering education and training in the most efficient and equitable way and that is why the government has had to make a number of tough decisions."

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