Fight for equitable education funding

ICPA calls for increase to living away from home allowance


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TAKING A STAND: ICPA Queensland president Tammie Irons. Photo: Jessica Johnston.

TAKING A STAND: ICPA Queensland president Tammie Irons. Photo: Jessica Johnston.

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Delegates at the ICPA conference were united in their call for an increase to the living away from home allowance.

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DELEGATES at the Isolated Children's Parents' Association Queensland state conference in Charters Towers were united in their calls for an immediate increase to the living away from home allowance.

ICPA president Tammie Irons said her main focus this year would be to continue to lobby the state government to provide equitable tuition funding for geographically isolated Living Away From Home Allowance Scheme recipients, comparable to other state school sectors.

Ms Irons said rural families largely had no choice but to send their children to boarding school in their secondary years and the LAFHAS payment had not kept up with the increasing cost of boarding and tuition.

"I want to see an increase in LAFHAS, not a token gesture, but a substantial increase as acknowledgement of what we as parents in rural and remote Queensland are going through to provide our kids with the best education," Ms Irons said.

"The increase to LAFHAS has been on our agenda for 48 years, there is a motion every year to increase this and align it to the education sub index.

"At the moment they increase it to CPI, which might be $100 here and there."

Lynise Conaghan of Barmount Station has put three children through boarding school.

Ms Conaghan said while she was grateful for the assistance, the gap between the funding and the cost of educating children was becoming increasingly wider.

"A lot of families sacrifice what ever they can to ensure their children access appropriate education," she said.

"Families are choosing these boarding schools because they have no choice."

Ms Conaghan said it cost more to put a secondary student through distance education than it did to provide LAFHAS assistance.

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