PUBLIC, private and independent schools are united in their condemnation of the $1.7 billion in state government education cuts over the next four years.
Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies said her government had tightened its belt and made tough decisions to ensure the state was living within its means.
This was a few days after she met with Penrith non-government schools, who oppose the cuts.
Mrs Davies insisted the cuts didn't affect teacher numbers but would include reducing departmental staff, working more efficiently within reduced budgets, adjusting non-government school sector funding and increasing revenue from fees and services.
Annual funding for non-government schools will be capped for four years at the current 2012-13 level.
"It will not be capped forever, and the cap won't come into effect until the 2013-2014 financial year," Mrs Davies said.
TAFE campuses will increase fees for government subsidised courses by 9.5 per cent next year and increase the concession fee from $53 to $100.
The principal of St Aidan's Primary School at Rooty Hill, Dr Elizabeth Ricketts, fears a loss of resources from the sector.
"How do we improve learning outcomes when a huge chunk of funding is lost?" she asked.
"Parents pay to give their children a good education and they're going to struggle more so.
"Children are our future. If they aren't educated, you have a community that won't be able to take its place in the world."
Western Sydney Parents & Citizens Association chairwoman, Naomi Hammond, believes cuts can be made elsewhere.
"The government is topping up its own pay packet while making cuts to education," the Lethbridge Park parent said.
"They need to stop messing with my daughter's education and her future."
Labor Mount Druitt MP Richard Amery has been swamped with calls, letters and emails and he has urged distressed constituents to contact his office.
He is concerned about cuts at Department of Education offices in Emerton, Mount Druitt and Kingswood.
"These cuts are in the Liberals' DNA." Mr Amery said.
What do you think of the education cuts? Comment at stmarysstar.com.au.