Education Maintenance Allowance
Following the release of the 9th Annual Congress Report 2014, we're breaking down the seven resolutions driving VicSRC advocacy into bitesize snapshots for the year ahead. Next up: Education Maintenance Allowance.
What is the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) resolution?
That the VicSRC advocate for the preservation of the EMA to support financially disadvantaged students, and also raise awareness of other avenues for financial support.
The VicSRC Executive team advocating for the resolution (Demi Irwin, Marine Chu and Natalie Elizabeth) have established a collective goal:
For the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) to be retained or an equivalent scheme to be implemented. This would provide students with the financial support necessary to assist them in finishing their education.
What is the EMA and why does it matter?
The EMA provides financial assistance to over 200,000 Victorian students to assist with the costs of schooling. EMA helps families afford books, uniform, excursions, camps and IT equipment.
In August this year, at a student led conference, Victorian students overwhelmingly voted in favour of preserving the EMA. 200,000 students in Victoria currently receive the EMA. As students, we are worried that the changes to the EMA will seriously impact our friends and their families.
So what's the problem?
The EMA provides financial assistance to over 200,000 Victorian students to assist with the costs of schooling. EMA helps families afford books, uniform, excusions, camps and IT equipment.
In 2015, the current government will no longer provide this assistance to parents. Instead it will now 'provide extra financial support directly to Victoria's neediest schools'. Victorian students whose school does not meet the criteria to receive funding will no longer have financial support.
Schools are not a direct representation of their students' economic situation.
The proposal to direct money to disadvantaged schools will actually remove targeted assistance for education costs and leave thousands of students unable to participate in the opportunities school has to offer.
It is our goverment's duty to ensure education is accessible and that students are able to complete school. All students who need this support should be eligible regardless of the socio-economic status of their school.
We are calling for a commitement from the Hon. Minister for Education, Martin Dixon MP, and the Shadow Minister for Education, James Merlino MP to:
- Reinstate the Education Maintenance Allowance beyond January 2014 OR
- Provide a genuine replacement for the EMA that ensures all students can access support regardless of what school they attend.
What can I do?
Please help us get 1,000 signatures!
Show your support
Share your voice
Did you know...
At the VCOSS AGM in November 2014, Shadow Minister for Education James Merlino MP committed to an equivalent replacement scheme to the EMA:
At the YACVic Election Forum in November 2014, Shadow Minister for Youth Martin Foley MP also comitted to replacing the EMA with a better model:
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