Piccoli to face angry parents  

MINISTER for education Adrian Piccoli has agreed to meet with angry parent groups in Griffith to discuss proposed cuts to education.

It comes after Griffith and Wade High School P&Cs issued him an invitation to attend a meeting on Wednesday, October 10 at Griffith High School.

He will not be available on that date, but said he welcomed the chance to explain the cuts.

And despite announcing that spending in NSW would be slashed by $1.7 billion, he has moved to allay local fears that essential staff would be lost.

"It's not teachers' aides and not reading recovery staff," he said. "Other than the 400 administration positions, which was a decision made by the previous government, we've made no changes to the schools.

"In fact we are spending more money on special needs children.

"I'd just ask people to look at what we are actually doing. It's important people get the right information.

"They can go on the department's website and see what impact these cuts will have, it explains everything."

Mr Piccoli said it was a simple fact that the cuts were needed.

"Like every organisation the NSW government had a budget and we can't spend money we don't have," he said.

"At the moment we are in a very serious budget situation and we can't ignore that.

"I met with Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett last week and he was unable to give me any indicator of what will happen in terms of the Gonski review. They have had the report for nearly a year, so we can't wait forever."

Mr Piccoli said the loss of education positions was part of necessary belt tightening.

"I don't want to do this," he said.

"But like every parent who runs a household budget, we can't spend money we don't have.

"The other key thing to remember is that the measures we've introduced are largely bureaucratic measures. The 400 administration jobs was a decision made by the previous government that we were forced to implement.

"But the 600 bureaucrat positions are precisely that.

"Every public service position provides value, so I'm not suggesting they don't add value, but you have to prioritise your spending."

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