The Andrews government has approved the closure and sale of 10 school sites despite coming to power promising to build the "Education State".
Parents and two local councils were infuriated recently after the government revealed it planned to sell a former Glenroy school as well as a site earmarked for a primary school in the rapidly growing area of Bacchus Marsh.
Moorabool Shire Council mayor Allan Comrie said the government's decision to sell the Bacchus Marsh site was short-sighted and made no sense.
He said there was already demand for a new primary school, and 10,000 people were expected to move into the area in the next decade.
"They all have younger families, there will be a lot of children in that area," Mr Comrie said.
"We can't see the sense of selling off a block of land that has been set aside for a school, then they have to buy another block down the track. It's just a waste of money."
He said about 800 students attended the nearby Bacchus Marsh Primary School, which had filled its grounds with portables to accommodate ballooning student numbers.
Victoria's school-aged population is expected to grow by over 150,000, or 20 per cent, to almost 900,000 students by 2025.
The Andrews government said it was addressing this "unprecedented growth" by investing $730 million in building, upgrading and acquiring land for schools. Twenty-three new state schools will open in coming years.
Cate Hall, a spokeswoman for public education alliance Our Children Our Schools, said once these sites were sold, it was very hard to find affordable land for future schools.
"We want to see school sites retained for community use, not sold off. Population increases are only going to lead to more demand."
The lobby group has thrown its support behind a community campaign to save the site of the former Ballerrt Mooroop College in Glenroy, an Indigenous school that closed in 2012.
The Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council and Moreland Council wanted to purchase the entire site, which includes a spirit tree and ceremonial ground, for an Aboriginal services centre.
But Moreland mayor Samantha Ratnam said the government had only sold council one quarter of the site, and urged the minister to reconsider to ensure "every inch of this highly significant site remains in public hands."
Councillor Sue Bolton said if the land were sold it would be turned into apartments.
A spokesman for Education Minister James Merlino said an Education Department review found that the Bacchus Marsh site was inappropriate for a school, and primary school demand in the area "would be insufficient to justify its future development."
He said the government was committed to preserving parts of the Ballerrt Mooroop College site that were culturally significant.
"The remainder of the site will be sold according to the standard government land sale processes," he said.
"The Government has approved the closure and sale of 10 schools sites since November 2014."
Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling said the government seemed more focused on selling school sites than building new ones.
"As we saw with the East-West link debacle, this government is more focussed on cancelling projects than building for our State's future," he said.
Schools on the market include Norlane Primary School and the former Western Heights Secondary College, while the former Keilor Park Primary School is being prepared for sale.
The schools the Andrews government has approved for sale are:
Upfield Primary School
Ballerrt Mooroop College - A Koorie Pathways School (Glenroy Campus)
former Boronia Heights College site (closed as result of Boronia K-12 merger)
Yarragon Primary School (Old Site)
Golden Square Primary
Charlton College North Central Cluster Centre (closed with the completion of the Trade Training Centre at Charlton College)
Kyabram P-12 College - Dawes Campus
Maralinga Primary School (closed as result of Chandler Park PS merger)
Drummartin Primary School