Turnbull Government's Gonski 2.0 failure means yet another special funding deal

31 July 2018

A plan by the Turnbull government to create another private school special funding deal is categorical proof of the failure of the Gonski 2.0 education funding model to provide fair funding for all school students in Australia.

According to media reports, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull plans to provide up to $1.7 billion in additional funding in a deal with private schools, following the Coalition’s loss in five federal by-elections last weekend.

However Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that the Prime Minister’s priority should be to restore the $1.9 billion in funding he took from the public education budget for 2018 and 2019 as part of his Gonski 2.0 plan.

“Public schools were victims of savage funding cuts under Gonski 2.0, and they must have their funding restored before Mr Turnbull considers any further special funding deals for private schools,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Mr Turnbull’s Gonski 2.0 funding model cut $1.9 billion from public education in the next two years. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds were most affected by these cuts.

“Mr Turnbull also provides a $1.9 billion capital works funding special deal for private schools but not one dollar for new public school classrooms, gyms, libraries, new technology, art centres or science labs,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“The Commonwealth should strike agreements with the states and territories to ensure that all public schools receive 100 per cent of their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) by 2023, and that the 20 per cent cap on the Commonwealth’s share is removed.”

“Under current Gonski 2.0 funding arrangements, 87 percent of public schools will not meet the SRS by 2023,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Meanwhile, more than 2000 private schools are already funded by special deals outside the Gonski 2.0 funding model. Now Mr Turnbull is eyeing yet another private school special funding deal.”

“It is critically important that the Turnbull government gives public schools a fair go with their funding,” Ms Haythorpe said.