Turnbull Government must listen to states and keep Gonski

7 April 2017

The Turnbull Government must listen to state and territory ministers at today’s Education Council meeting in Hobart and abandon its plans to end Gonski needs-based funding after 2017, the AEU said today.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that the unanimous opposition from states, and the Turnbull Government’s failure to develop an alternative funding model, meant it had no choice but to maintain Gonski funding.

“Education Minister Simon Birmingham will turn up to today’s education ministers meeting with no plan for schools except to cut Gonski funding,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“He needs to listen to the state ministers who will tell him he must keep Gonski funding because they know it is making a difference in their schools.

“Thousands of students are getting the help they need to succeed at school, through extra literacy and numeracy programs, smaller classes and more one-to-one support.

“But only one-third of the extra funding in the Gonski agreements has been delivered, and we need funding to continue in 2018 and 2019 so all schools have the resources they need.

“Malcolm Turnbull has shown he has no plan to lift results, or properly fund schools, just a plan for cuts that will hit hardest the children who need help the most.

“Why has he made it a priority to deliver a $24 billion cut to company tax, but not to find the $3.8 billion that would allow the Gonski agreements to be funded in full?

“He has no commitment to ensuring all Australian students can attend a school which can meet their needs.”

Ms Haythorpe said that the Turnbull Government was running scared and had failed to develop a concrete funding proposal in the 11 months since it announced it wanted to end Gonski.

“We have had months of excuses, and there is still no detail, and no alternative proposal on the table.

“We are now in the ridiculous situation that not a single school in Australia knows what will be in its budget in 2018.

“Malcolm Turnbull is ignoring advice from state governments, principals, parents and teachers that Gonski needs-based funding is working, and trying to push ahead with his own flawed system which would end needs-based funding.

“He needs to admit his plans have failed, and give our schools the funding they need.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291