Labor to invest $14.1b in public schools


10 October 2018

Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has announced that, if elected, Labor will invest $14.1 billion into Australia’s public schools.

This extra funding would mean smaller public school class sizes, more teachers and support staff, and more one-on-one individual attention for public school students.

This funding commitment includes $3.3 billion in the first three school years,2020-2022, the equivalent of 8250 extra teachers. Mr Shorten also committed to smash the arbitrary 20 per cent cap on federal funding for public schools, and to work withstate and territory governments to bring all public schools to100 percent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS).

By comparison, the Morrison’s government cut public school funding by $14 billion, including by $1.9 billion in 2018 and 2019. Recently Prime Minister Morrison announced a $4.6 billion special funding deal targeted solely at private schools.

Labor said the $14.1 billion figure will be invested into public schools over ten years. According to ACARA, more than 2.5 million children attend public schools, sixty-five per cent of total national school enrolments. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that public schools teach 74% of children in outer regional areas, 77.5% of children in remote areas and 88% in very remote areas. They teach the overwhelming majority of Australia’s children with the greatest needs, including 82 per cent of the poorest children, 84 per cent of Indigenous children, and 74 per cent of children with disabilities.

Today’s school funding commitment by Labor is great news for public schools and public school students. It is a clear demonstration of Labor’s commitment to public schools and the crucial role they play in educating and providing opportunities for Australia’s 2.5 million public school students.

In addition, Labor’s recent commitment to guarantee ongoing funding for fifteen hours of preschool for every three- and four-year-old child shows Labor has a real commitment and vision for education in Australia.