The federal government has delivered a budget that includes a welcome measure to ensure that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is fully funded, with a 0.5 per cent Medicare levy increase, giving people with disability confidence about the long-term funding security of the scheme.
The increased funding for pathways to employment for people with disability is also a positive inclusion in the budget. What is missing is a clearly defined education reform for students with disability. Young people with disability face barriers to employment because of discrimination, poor post-school transition, inaccessible workplaces and lack of access to a quality education.
A 5.2 per cent increase in education funding for students with disability has been included in this budget but it is unclear how this figure has been reached and whether this is an adequate response to the huge unmet need which currently exists.
Increased funding on its own will not deliver the systemic reforms required to improve educational outcomes for students with disability.
ABS data shows that in Australia close to 60 per cent of people with disability have not completed Year 12. It is critical that education is a key companion reform for people with disability.
A person could have world-class services and supports but we know that without a quality education life opportunities are greatly diminished. Children and young people with disability are not going to get ahead if we don’t fix the education system.
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