Gonski is set to be a major election issue after Malcolm Turnbull confirmed today that a federal election will be held on July 2nd and that he will still not commit to funding Gonski in full.
The Gonski campaign will continue up until the election and our goal is remains to have bi-partisan support for the extra funding our schools need.
But as it stands this election with be an all-or-nothing choice, with Labor and the Greens both committed to investing the extra $4.5 billion to fund the full six years of Gonski.
Malcolm Turnbull’s plan is to end Gonski funding after 2017 - ending needs-based funding and delivering cuts to many disadvantaged schools - and to continue to push to abandon federal funding to public schools.
AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe saidthat Mr Turnbull needed to fund the full six years of Gonski reforms which fund all schools on the basis of need, not whether they are public or private.
“We are already seeing Gonski funding making a positive difference to student results. We need the full six years of the Gonski agreements to ensure that all schools get the resources they need to educate all of their students,” Ms Haythorpe said.
Gonski is getting results
Gonski funding is already making a difference to disadvantaged schools and students. We are seeing smaller class sizes, more one-to-one support for kids who are struggling, extra literacy and numeracy programs and professional development to lift the quality of teaching.
Gonski funding is going where it is needed and is lifting student results.
Why would Malcolm Turnbull not want to build on that success by making sure schools get the full six years of funding Gonski recommended?
More than half of the increased resources are due to flow to schools in 2018 and 2019 and if we do not get the full six years of Gonski many disadvantaged schools will never get the resources they need.
The Tasmanian and Northern Territory Governments have already confirmed their schools will lose out under Mr Turnbull’s plan.
Cuts to Tasmanian and NT schools
In Tasmania schools would be $100 million worse off if Malcolm Turnbull refuses to fund the last two years of Gonski in 2018 and 2019. On top of that, Tasmanian public schools would actually have $14 million taken from their budgets, thanks to the Federal Government’s proposed new funding system after 2018. (link: http://www.igiveagonski.com.au/what_gonski_cuts_will_cost_tasmanian_schools )
That $100m is critical because it is only in the last two years of Gonski that Tasmanian schools will see the type of investment that is needed to help the State close the resource gap with mainland States.
In the Northern Territory the Government says schools will be $309 million worse off over eight years and public schools will lose $20 million from their budgets in a single year (link: http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/education-union-warns-new-federal-funding-arrangement-will-have-negative-impact-on-nt-education/news-story/68b9c23cb2be91789bbf51d827052ea3 )
The idea of the Federal Government removing all funding from public schools and leaving them solely to the States would be a disastrous outcome which would end any hope of our schools being funded on the basis of need. No wonder it is opposed by a majority of voters, including a majority of Coalition voters.
We need you to make your voice heard
We’ll keep on campaigning right up until the election because we want to see bi-partisan support for the full six years of Gonski funding.
We’ll need your help to ensure that Coalition MPs know how important Gonski is to their communities.
May 3rd will see Malcolm Turnbull hand down his budget, and this may give us a better idea of exactly what he is proposing to do for schools.
We are running a Call Your MP action next week (April 26-29th) and we need you to get involved and tell your MP how important Gonski funding is to you and your local schools.
Your MP’s job is to listen to you and represent your concerns. They need to know what your local schools could do with increased resources.
If you live in a marginal Coalition electorate we need you to call your MP and tell them why Gonski matters to you, and why Malcolm Turnbull needs to fund it in full.
If you don’t live in a Coalition seat we need you to call Malcolm Turnbull’s office and leave a message for him. Find out how to get involved here (link: http://www.igiveagonski.com.au/tell_your_mp_gonski_matters )
Make no mistake, we are less than three months away from an election which will decide the future of schools funding in Australia.
Funding our schools properly, and making sure all our kids get the skills they need for work, is an investment in Australia’s future.
We need Malcolm Turnbull to back Gonski in full.