Feelings ran high at two education rallies on the steps of Parliament House yesterday as more than 1000 teachers, education support staff, parents and children demanded the State Government reverse cuts to school resources.
Rain did not deter more than 1000 people who attended the State School Teachers Union rally late in the afternoon, with the crowd swelled by hundreds of education assistants who went to a separate rally earlier in the day.
SSTU president Anne Gisborne told the crowd that schools could lose more than 300 teachers next year and thousands of dollars in funding.
She said teachers had been "dreaming" of the difference that funding promised under the Federal Government's better schools plan would make to schools.
She said not only had Premier Colin Barnett rejected the $671 million on offer, he had struck another blow by slashing spending on education, thinly disguised as reforms.
Federal Education Minister Bill Shorten said the Barnett Government's cuts were a taste of what other States could expect if the coalition won power at the Federal election.
Mr Shorten said Mr Barnett could not expect to cut education funds and get Federal funding.
"We do not believe in saying to Colin Barnett, 'Here is some Commonwealth resources coming in the front door and you can do the great schools swindle and take your money out the back door'," he said.
WA Education Minister Peter Collier attended both rallies but was not invited to speak at the second one.
He told education assistants there would be no change in the Government's position because the current funding system was flawed.Teachers voted at the second rally to hold a stop-work meeting if the State Government did not reverse the cuts by Friday.