Parents to fork out for school airconditioning
A WESTERN Sydney school will be refurbished without airconditioning with the estimated $300,000 cost to be raised by staff and parents.
Despite students sweltering in summer, Labor claims the State government is refusing to pay for airconditioning at Lidcombe Public School as part of a renovation works.
The school, which is situated in the Auburn electorate of State opposition leader Luke Foley, is set to undergo an overdue expansion with a new administration block, a library and 14 new classrooms.
However, staff and the P & C have been told that the classroom and library upgrade will not include airconditioning, even though the buildings they are replacing are currently air-conditioned, Mr Foley said.
If the school wants airconditioning, the principal and parents will have to pay for their own units together with an electricity upgrade, at an estimated cost of around $300,000, he said.
Mr Foley said staff and parents had been hoping to spend the $250,000 they had raised on resources for students including robotics, creative and critical thinking tools, equipment for extra-curricular activities like sport, dance, choir, public speaking, or even more technology.
Labor has pledged $300 million towards airconditioning schools, with the State government to surpass the figure in next month's state budget although it has yet to release any details.
Mr Foley said the refusal to install airconditioning at Lidcombe was evidence that Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes were not committed to cooling schools.
"Rob Stokes and the Premier might as well admit it - they have no intention of airconditioning NSW schools, they are going to leave that to the parents and principals," he said.
Last month, the State opposition highlighted the case of another western Sydney school at Schofields where parents were also being forced to pay for their own airconditioning units.
Opposition education spokesman Jihad Dib said hot classrooms produced poorer learning outcomes with both students and teachers being distracted and fatigued.
"Rebuilding a school and not including airconditioning makes no sense," he said.
" Everybody knows that retrofitting is more expensive, much more expensive and certainly more disruptive."