Principals, teachers and parents hit Canberra to tell MPs Gonski is working

13 September 2016

A delegation of educators and parents from across Australia will visit Canberra today to tell MPs how Gonski funding is working and urge the Coalition not to cut needs-based funding after 2017.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the Coalition’s plan to end Gonski would cut vital resources from schools just as they were starting to deliver results.

“The Coalition’s plan to return to a funding system based on sector, not student need, will hurt disadvantaged schools and their students.

“Educators in schools which have received extra funding based on need know how important it is because they can see it is making a difference to their students,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Schools finally have the resources they need to offer one-to-one support, extra literacy and numeracy programs and smaller classes to benefit students.

“This delegation will tell MPs about students reading for the first time, kids finally getting expert support for speech problems, and impressive gains being made in literacy and numeracy.

“Why does Malcolm Turnbull want to scrap Gonski funding when it is getting results?

“We know that many schools still do not have the resources they need because two-thirds of the increased funding is to be delivered in 2018 and 2019.

“Many schools will never reach minimum resource standards unless the last two years of Gonski are delivered, and their students will continue to miss out.

“An analysis by funding expert Dr Jim McMorrow shows that the Coalition’s plan will leave schools $3.9 billion worse off in 2018 and 2019 alone.

“It would deliver the bulk of extra federal funding (62%) to private schools and just 38% to public schools. Public schools would receive a fraction of the resources they need, not enough for a school of 500 students to hire a single extra full-time teacher.

“Next Friday, September 23, Education Minister Simon Birmingham will meet State and Territory Education Ministers in Adelaide.

“This meeting will be crucial for the future of needs-based funding and we need all States and Territories to stand up for Gonski.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli came out on the week-end to say that ‘The commonwealth would have to fight me for it, if it wanted to cut funding from NSW schools.

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has also written to Malcolm Turnbull calling on him to reinstate Gonski funding and not go ahead with cuts to Tasmanian schools.

“We need all States and Territories to resist the Coalition’s plan to scrap Gonski.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291