Leaders Retreat needs to deliver on full six-years of Gonski agreements

22 July 2015

Tony Abbott and State Premiers must use today’s leaders retreat to focus on delivering Gonski funding and stop the planned $30 billion cut in federal funding for education, the Australian Education Union said today.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said schools funding should be a key part of any debate about future funding arrangements between States and the Federal Government.

“The future of our schools and students is too important to be neglected,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“We need the States to continue to push for the full six years of needs-based Gonski funding to ensure that all students have access to a quality education. We need to close the gaps in resources that are holding students back.”

“The States need to hold the Abbott Government accountable for its plan to scrap the last two years of the Gonski agreements, which will cut the equivalent of 20,000 educators from public schools alone.

“In NSW, $1.2 billion will be cut from schools in 2018 and 2019 if the Federal Government does not honour the full Gonski agreement.

“In States like NSW which have delivered Gonski funding to schools we are already seeing improved results for students. But without the full six years of funding recommended by the Gonski Review we will not be able to lift all schools to a minimum resource standard.

“States must also ensure that the Abbott Government cannot implement a plan outlined in its Green Paper on education funding to stop funding public schools altogether.

“The Federal Government walking away from public schools would be a disastrous move that cuts the quality of education for thousands of students.

“Tony Abbott must not be allowed to avoid responsibility for funding public schools.

“The Gonski Review wanted the Federal Government to increase its role in schools funding, not reduce it, because it recognised that the Federal Government is better-resourced.

“At present only one dollar in every eight dollars of public school funding comes from the Federal Government.”

“Well-resourced schools which can meet the needs of every student are an investment in the future, and all levels of government need to recognise this.

“In NSW, the Baird Government has committed to the full six years of Gonski funding, so why can’t Mr Abbott do the same and give schools some certainty around funding?”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291