Nationals Member for Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy, has met with members of the deaf and hard of hearing community this week to discuss the impact of recent cuts to the Visiting Teacher Service.
More than 80 jobs provided by the Visiting Teacher Service have been slashed by the Andrews Labor Government, disadvantaging the state’s most vulnerable students.
The job cuts have been made to a program that provides support to children with hearing, visual, physical, and mental impairments.
The visiting teachers also support students who are severely ill, including pupils with cancer and diabetes.
Mr McCurdy said that it was yet another vital service being left to suffer in the wake of Labor’s horror budget.
“These students need more support, more funding, not less.
“I am incredibly disappointed that the Andrews Labor Government has decided that the best way to fix their budget blowout is by cutting essential jobs such as these.
“Making 32 support teachers do the work that 118 are doing currently is not sustainable.”
Mr McCurdy also said that the lack of accessibility to specialist schools in regional Victoria meant that the cuts will be felt the hardest in the regions.
“Further to that, regional students have less access to specialist schools, so are more dependent on the support that the VTS provides.
“We have two fantastic specialist schools in Wangaratta and Cobram, however, students in Myrtleford, Bright, and Mount Beauty, do not have access to these schools without a long commute.
“I urge the Government to restore the funding and ensure that our most vulnerable students get the support they deserve.”