Concerned parents from Caloundra are rallying the community to support their petition to fast-track the opening of Baringa State High School for the 2020 school year.
It comes as students who currently attend the newly opened Baringa State Primary School are headed for years of uncertainty and chaos with its sister high school not set to open until 2021 at the earliest.
Principal petitioner Deborah Hardie said concern is growing in the community as more people learn of the delay with the school’s opening.
“We have a lot of upset parents who are hoping for the high school to be open in 2020 like it was first planned,” Mrs Hardie said.
“I’m a bit angry because we were told at information sessions and when purchasing property Baringa High would be open in 2020, but now we’re hearing rumours it might not be until 2022.
“I’ve got a daughter in year 5 at Baringa Primary who needs to start high school that year, and my youngest will be start prep the same year. That will mean doing school drop off at both Baringa and Meridan State College until the high school opens at Baringa.”
State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has thrown his support behind the petition, speaking in State Parliament last week of Baringa students being left behind in the State Budget.
“The Baringa State High School will not open until 2021. The ABC News bulletin on 12 June quoted the Treasurer as saying—‘Getting our schools ready for 2020 means we need to make the investment in this year’s budget to have the additional infrastructure and classrooms available for that full Year 7 cohort that will hit in 2020.’
“The government claims that preparing schools for year 7 students is important, so why is Baringa State High School not opening before 2021?
“There are two and a half thousand students now at Meridan State College. Don’t get me wrong, Meridan is a good school but we are going to add more students to that cohort for a period of 12 months or more, and then bring them back the following year.
“Parents may have to buy new set of school uniforms and let’s consider the children who have developed new friends and a routine. They lose that continuity – so important for a child’s development.
“The year 2021 is too long to wait for Baringa to get a high school. These students need consistency, as do their parents.”
People can sign the hard-copy petition at two upcoming mobile petition stations run by concerned parents:
Saturday 23 June, All Day Bunnings Caloundra BBQ
Sunday 24 June, 10am - 2pm Pedal Park, Cameron Street, Bells Creek
Saturday 30 June, 10am – 2pm Pedal Park, Cameron Street, Bells Creek
Saturday 7 July, 10am – 2pm Lukin Terrace Park, Bells Creek (Behind Stockland Aura Sales Office)
The petition can also be signed at Mr McArdle’s electorate office, or online at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/current-epetitions
For further information contact: Media Unit, Office of Mark McArdle, 0438 449 243.