SPECIAL NEEDS AND DISABLED STUDENT SERVICES
Mr ROB STOKES:
My question is directed to the Minister for Disability Services. How does the Minister justify slashing teachers' aide funding for my constituent Daniel Clarke, who is in the Chamber today, because his parent's chose to save taxpayers a million dollars by sending Daniel to a nearby non-government school that had wheelchair access?
Mr PAUL LYNCH:
I acknowledge Daniel, who is in the Chamber today. I am advised that staff of the Minister for Education and Training met with Daniel and his mother earlier in the year. I know he is a remarkable young man. The New South Wales Government supports the rights of students with special needs to a quality education. The Government funds children in non-government schools based on a calculation of 25 per cent of equivalent average government school costs. That means that the Government's funding for non-government schools is consistently in proportion to spending on government school students. The government's policy for the distribution of per capita funding is based on a 12-category needs-based approach.
All special needs or disabled students are funded at the highest category; that is, category 12. Students with disabilities who attend non-government schools are also eligible for transport to and from school under the Student Special transport Scheme. Perhaps next time the member might address the question to the Minister for Education and Training.