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Greens call for state and federal indigenous education agreement to invest in public indigenous education.

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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

Greens call for state and federal indigenous education agreement to invest in public indigenous education

Senator Nettle, 21st May 2006

Greens Education spokesperson Senator Kerry Nettle has called on both state and federal governments to establish a priority indigenous education agreement which would invest hundreds of millions of dollars into public indigenous education.

"Establishing $8000 a head indigenous schools like that proposed today by St Andrews Cathedral School in Sydney cannot solve the crisis in Indigenous schooling," Senator Nettle said.

"The Greens policy includes an annual investment of $380 million from federal funding for a disadvantaged schools programme a significant proportion of which will target indigenous communities.

"Any Indigenous education agreement between the states and the Commonwealth must include funding to deliver;

• mandatory pre-service teacher education in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and educational needs and professional development for all existing teachers,

• capital investment in new schools and facilities, • increased numbers of Aboriginal Education Assistants in public schools, • the exploration of modes of public education that integrate pre-school, primary secondary and TAFE, as well as the complete range of public health and

welfare services and community development, and • increased numbers of teachers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literacy and innumeracy programs.

"The federal budget cut Abstudy by $15 million and failed to deliver any significant increase in core funding for indigenous education.

"Despite implementing promising programmes the states have also failed to give sufficient priority to public school investment in indigenous education.

"The Greens recognize that only public education can adequately address the nationwide need for improved specialist indigenous education provision."

Contact: Jon Edwards 0428 213 146