The Liberals say the South Australian Government is cutting its own education budget at a time when it has been criticising the Coalition on schools funding.
SA Opposition education spokesman David Pisoni says the State Government is not yet detailing where its cuts will be made.
“It’s an extraordinary amount of money, $230 million over four years,” he said.
“We don’t know what schools will be closed, which teachers will be sacked in order to achieve those savings.”
SA Education Minister Jennifer Rankine has guaranteed students will not suffer from a $230 million cut to her department’s budget.
She says efficiencies will be achieved within the department without affecting learning.
“I can absolutely guarantee that. We are not looking at reducing teacher numbers, in fact we are desperately trying to get the Federal Government to honour their agreement so that we can provide funding for every child across South Australia at the same level,” she said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he hoped states would act in the right spirit and maintain schools funding.
“Our position is that we will honour our commitments, indeed we will overkeep our commitments if you like,” he said.
“That’s why we announced yesterday that we’ll put an extra $1.2 billion over and above that which Labor had committed into school funding over the next four years. That’s what we’ll do.
“We hope the states also act in the right spirit and will maintain their school funding but for all of Mr Shorten’s huffing and puffing in the Parliament yesterday it seems that the deal he did with the South Australian Labor Government has not stopped the South Australian Labor Government from ripping $200-odd million out of schools.”
“[It] just goes to show that Bill Shorten was completely, well he was making a fool of himself, to put it at its kindest, in the Parliament yesterday.”