Education Minister Anne Tolley has come under fire at a Parliamentary select committee over cuts to adult community education.
She was asked to explain why 80% of funding to high school night classes has been dropped.
Mrs Tolley told the committee on Wednesday that despite the cuts, adult community education has a very good future.
Labour's education spokesperson Maryan Street disagreed, saying the cut means many courses would not be able to proceed.
Mrs Tolley said she values community education but the choice was between a young unemployed person wanting to get further skills at a polytech and an older person wanting to do a pilates or a cake decorating course.
Green MP Catherine Delahunty asked Mrs Tolley to explain how she could give $35 million to private schools in such tough financial times.
Mrs Tolley replied that private schools service students from a whole range of economic backgrounds.