Coalition still has no Gonski alternative - its cuts will hurt students

30 June 2016

With just days to go before the Federal election, the Coalition has no vision for schools beyond cuts to needs-based Gonski funding after 2017.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said Malcolm Turnbull still had not produced an alternative to Gonski, and his cuts to schools funding would hurt students.

“Under Malcolm Turnbull’s plan schools will receive $3.8 billion less in funding in 2018 and 2019 than they would under the full Gonski.

“These cuts will mean students will miss out on smaller classes, literacy and numeracy programs and more one-to-one support.

“We know that Gonski funding is already making a difference, so why does Malcolm Turnbull want to stop it?”

“Failing to fund our schools properly means Malcolm Turnbull is failing our children.

“Two-thirds of the extra funding from the Gonski agreements is due to be delivered to schools in 2018 and 2019- the years Malcolm Turnbull wants to cut.

“Labor and the Greens have committed to funding the full six years of Gonski that our schools need.”

Ms Haythorpe said Malcolm Turnbull had still not revealed key details of how he planned to distribute schools funding after 2017.

“On top of his cuts to Gonski, we still do not know how Malcolm Turnbull intends to fund schools after 2017.

“He cannot confirm that funding will still be done on the basis of student need, or that individual States and Territories won’t be worse off.

“His own Budget Papers show drops in funding to public schools in the NT and Tasmania after 2017.”

“There is clearly no plan to lift results for disadvantaged students and close achievement gaps between them and other students.

“There is no plan to give students with disability the support they need at school – despite the fact that the Government’s own figures show more than half of students with disability who need funded support at school are not getting it.

“The Coalition can only say that a new funding model will be negotiated with the States in 2017, with no further detail.

“We don’t need a new funding model, we need the existing Gonski agreements to be funded in full.”

“Properly resourcing our schools gives every child a chance, and will boost our economy in the long-term.

“Malcolm Turnbull can find money for a tax cut for companies, but not to give our students the resources they need.

“He needs to rethink his priorities and recognise that the best way to grow our economy is to make sure all students leave school with the skills they need for work.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse: 0437 971 291