​Labor commits to Gonski

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12 May 2017

Schools funding will be a major issue at the next federal election after Labor leader Bill Shorten announced his commitment to restoring Malcolm Turnbull’s planned $22 billion cuts to schools over the next ten years.

The move would see Labor honour the Gonski agreements with the states and restore needs-based funding.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said there was now a sharp difference in schools policy between the major parties.

“Labor’s commitment will bring hope to parents, school principals and teachers, who today are unsure about how they will continue to deliver crucial programs to many of their students after 2017.

“Only real needs-based funding – not Malcolm Turnbull’s flawed funding model – can deliver programs that help students who need support and give them a real shot at life beyond their school years.”

When compared to honouring the Gonski Agreements in full, Malcolm Turnbull’s proposed funding model would leave schools $3.2 billion worse off in the next two years alone.

Those cuts mean thousands of students denied extra literacy and numeracy programs and other in-class support to help them achieve at school.

Under Malcolm Turnbull’s plan, 84% of public schools would not reach the minimum Schooling Resource Standard by 2027.

Instead, Malcolm Turnbull chose to deliver a $65 billion company tax cut ahead of giving our children the resources they need at school.

Labor’s pledge on Gonski puts more pressure on state and territory governments to fight Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts, and on the Senate to block the legislation needed to implement the Turnbull plan.

The Greens have already suggested they are open to passing the legislation, but will wait until an inquiry is completed in June. We need all Senators to stand up for needs-based funding and block government attempts to make their flawed plan law.

“Teachers and principals across the country, parents, families and school communities will continue to fight for needs-based education,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Any politician who supports Turnbull’s cuts agenda will need to answer to the electorate.

“Ahead of the meeting between education ministers next week in Adelaide, we call on every state education minister to consider the future of each of their state’s students and block Turnbull’s plan of education cuts.”