The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Andrews Labor Government to reverse a zoning decision that will see a reduction in funding for Panton Hill Primary School.
Speaking during the adjournment debate in State Parliament recently, Ms Lovell said that a recent decision by the State Government to re-classify Panton Hill from a rural to a metropolitan school meant a dramatic cut in funding for the school.
Ms Lovell said she had been contacted by many parents concerned about the future of the school, with the funding cut estimated to be 12% over the next four years.
Panton Hill Primary School has a current enrolment of 136 students and is burdened with additional costs associated with its rural location; costs not incurred by metropolitan schools. With no mains gas network, Panton Hill must purchase LPG for heating and with no sewage system the school is forced to pay the ongoing expense of its own waste-water treatment system. The school must also maintain its own bushfire refuge and sprinkler system to protect it during each bushfire season.
The decision now placed Panton Hill Primary School in the metropolitan school zone by just 200m and Ms Lovell called on Education Minister James Merlino to reverse the decision and reinstate the school’s rural classification.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“It is clear that Panton Hill Primary School is a rural school and is burdened with additional operating costs not incurred by proper metropolitan schools.
“Re-classifying Panton Hill as a metropolitan school means a dramatic cut in the school’s funding that is blatantly unfair on staff, students and the local community and the Minister must reverse this decision immediately.”
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