By Chris Spindler
ADELAIDE — The October 30 State Council meeting of the South Australian Institute of Teachers endorsed SAIT president Clare McCarty to stand as an Education Independent for the Legislative Council in the state elections.
McCarty said that it was vitally important that education have the highest profile possible during this campaign.
"We have not been happy about the performance of the [Labor] government on education in recent years, and we do not trust the Liberals. Education is the key to the future of this state, and we are going to make sure that whoever wins on December 11 fully understands this. There are no issues that are not affected by education."
SAIT will not be endorsing any of the major parties for the lower house. Instead all have been circulated with questions on their education policies. Their responses will be publicised.
"On December 11 we will be asking South Australians to Vote 1 for education in the upper house. It is absolutely important that neither Liberal nor Labor have control of the Legislative Council", McCarty said.
"The upper house is South Australia's insurance policy. We won't know what's in the fine print of Labor and Liberal policies until the election is over, and by then it may be too late."
The decision to stand followed a survey of SAIT members. 54% said that they supported the idea of running a candidate for the Legislative Council while only 22% expressed strong opposition.
The same survey showed that 81% of teachers said that SAIT should mount a campaign focusing on education in the lead-up to the state election.
McCarty commented, "The option of running a candidate has been with schools for some time now. The survey results confirm the anecdotal support we have received for the idea over many weeks."