MP Butler Backs Teachers

Barwon MP Roy Butler has strongly backed teachers in their calls for more teachers and resources for Broken Hill in the wake of the Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell’s visit to Broken Hill recently.

During the visit, to announce additional funding for teacher housing, Ms Mitchell disputed there was a substantial teacher shortage as the Barrier Teachers Federation claims.

She said teacher vacancy rates had remained stable on 3%.

Mr Butler said Minister Sarah Mitchell’s visit, to announce a program for teacher housing, angered many teachers in the city.

“Amid a critical shortage of teachers, the minister chose to go there to announce a scheme for more teacher housing, but it’s housing for teachers who don’t even exist yet.

“She made things worse by not actually meeting with any teachers to hear their concerns and then delivered an address that most teachers found insulting.

“The minister’s comments seem to fly in the face of the wealth of evidence we have been getting from teachers and school administrators across the electorate, that there is a huge staff shortage, which is placing a burden on other teachers who need to pick up the slack.

“The minister is partly right in saying that we need to acknowledge the positive side, or else we might scare people away from the profession, but ignoring the major challenges facing schools and the teaching profession at the moment won’t fix the problems that are evident and widespread.

“She says she is frustrated at the unions for being so negative, but she hasn’t given them much to be positive about,” Mr Butler said.

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