Two-thirds of Longman residents support fair funding of public schools

15 June 2018

NEW polling has shown that state school funding will be a crucial issue deciding the by-election in Longman, with two-thirds of residents in the electorate saying state school funding levels will be a key consideration in determining their vote.

Earlier this year the Turnbull government slashed $1.9 billion from public education funding over the next two years, including $18.3 million from state schools in Longman, while pushing for billions of dollars in tax cuts for big business.

However according to a new ReachTEL poll[1], 66.3 per cent of respondents in Longman said state school funding is personally important to them as an electoral issue.

The poll also revealed that almost 57% of respondents in Longman consider increased funding for local state schools as better for Australia’s future than cutting taxes for the nation’s big banks.

In addition, more than 41% of respondents said they are less likely to vote for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation once they were told One Nation voted with Malcolm Turnbull to cut school funding.

Australian Education Union (AEU) Queensland Acting President Sam Pidgeon said that the poll results clearly show that voters consider properly-funded state schools as a priority over tax cuts for big business.

“Voters and residents in Longman and across Queensland are very happy with their local schools, teachers and principals and do not want them to be savaged by Malcolm Turnbull’s $18.3 million cut to school funding in Longman,” Ms Pidgeon said.

“These poll results show that two-thirds of residents in Longman clearly want public money spent on properly funding state schools, rather than tax cuts for big business.”

“Fair funding for schools means real improvements for state schools across Longman, such as additional teachers, smaller class sizes and better opportunities for all schoolchildren,” Ms Pidgeon said.

“However we are now seeing these fabulous student outcomes in Longman put at risk by the $18.3 million in funding cuts mandated by the Turnbull government.”

Ms Pidgeon said the AEU was calling for “Fairer Funding Now” for state schools in Longman.

“State schools in Longman and across Queensland are facing a funding crisis unless the Turnbull government immediately reverses its decision to cut $1.9 billion from state schools for 2018 and 2019,” Ms Pidgeon said.

“The Commonwealth should also work with the states government to ensure that state schools in Longman receive 100 per cent of their School Resource Standard by 2023. Right now the Commonwealth’s share is capped at 20 per cent.”

“All children in Queensland should have the opportunity to get the highest quality state education.”

Ms Pidgeon called for additional funding for school capital works and for supporting disabled students in state schools.

“Under Turnbull’s school funding plan, state schools in Longman will receive zero capital funds for much-needed new and upgraded classrooms and facilities, while private schools will reap the benefits of Turnbull’s $1.9 billion in capital works special deal,” Ms Pidgeon said.

“The Turnbull government’s cuts to funding for students with disability should also be reversed. State schools educate the vast majority of children with disability, yet only 41% of the loading funding is going to state schools.”

“Properly delivering on needs-based funding in this way will ensure that every child will be given the opportunity to learn,” Ms Pidgeon said.


[1] ReachTEL poll surveyed 830 residents in the federal electorate of Longman on the evening of 5 June 2018