Katherine school principals are fearing mass resignations from teachers over the rental subsidy issue.
NT Education Department chief executive Vicki Baylis met with about 70 teachers yesterday, many who told her they were prepared to leave town over the issue.
The NT Government wants to cut $500,000 from the rental subsidies to help balance the Territory's budget, in a move which has shocked the town.
Ms Baylis revealed the $500,000 was only a proportion of the almost $2 million paid on housing in Katherine.
"I think they were surprised to find that out, it's not all the subsidy."
She agreed many of the teachers, whom she said were highly emotional at the meeting, spoke of their anger and disappointment, and were determined to leave.
"They also spoke about their schools and their students, to them this is not just about them," she said.
Ms Baylis said she would be returning to Katherine to speak to alarmed principals in a week's time.
She said some of the principals also received rental subsidies.
"I have promised to work through all these issues with the teachers, with the union and also with the principals."
The $500,000 cut may still appear in the NT Budget, set to be handed down next week.
Ms Baylis said her department offered up the Katherine subsidy, along with other subsidies, as instructed by the government.
"It was a Cabinet decision to seek to remove them, it would have to be a Cabinet decision to reverse it." she said.
She said the Katherine teachers, 94 of them receive the subsidy in various forms, who were at the meeting at the School of the Air were "clear, courageous and passionate".
Ms Baylis said she assured teachers that nothing would be happening to the subsidies in this calendar year, so there was time "to work through the issues".
She said she hoped as they continued their discussions that teachers would choose to remain.
The Budget review identified that the subsidy paid to Katherine was not paid in Darwin and Alice Springs, implying that it was unfair.
"The teachers provided me with many examples of why Alice Springs and Darwin are different, access to plane flights for one."
Ms Baylis said the Katherine teachers were obviously very proud of where they live ... "they are proud of the town".
She said she pleased to see the support from the town for their teachers as well.
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