Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos.
Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos. Nikki Short

A plea not to leave disabled students behind in the budget

STUDENTS with a disability that were promised extra funding through their schools should not be left behind in the Abbott government's first budget, the education union has urged.

Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos on Monday addressed a forum on disability education in Canberra.

He said extra funding promised by the previous government - and guaranteed by the Abbott government - for "disability loading" should not be abandoned.

Mr Gavrielatos said he expected the government to "abandon" the fifth and sixth years of funding under the Gonski school funding model in Tuesday's budget.

He urged the government to confirm it would keep its promise that the extra loading for some 100,000 disabled students from 2015.

"There are many barriers in the way of a decent education for Australian students with disability, but one of the biggest is the lack of funding," Mr Gavrielatos said.

"We do not want Tony Abbott to walk away from providing a decent education for students with disability.

"Children with disability have the same right as other Australians to an education that allows them to reach their potential, and which treats them with dignity."

While Education Minister Christopher Pyne has not ruled out changing funding formulas for disabled students, he has also not indicated any intentions to remove any extra loading.

The government's first budget will outline its likely intentions regarding the extra loading on Tuesday.



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