The Gonski campaign will step up this week with new TV ads in Tasmania and the Northern Territory exposing Malcolm Turnbull’s double blow to public schools in those States.
The Coalition’s alternative to Gonski will mean less funding for all schools after 2017, and will actually deliver disastrous cuts to public schools in those States.
These cuts will deny students the vital programs – one-to-one support, smaller classes and extra literacy and numeracy programs – that they need to achieve.
They make a mockery of Malcolm Turnbull’s claims that his schools policy is needs-based, and highlight the importance of not supporting him at the July 2nd election.
Territory Schools hit twice under the Coalition
If the Coalition is elected schools in the Northern Territory will be $100 million worse off – which will mean less support for kids in some of the nation’s neediest schools.
The NT contains 54 of Australia’s 100 most disadvantaged schools, and educates high numbers of Indigenous, remote and low-SES students, all of whom would attract extra funding under Gonski.
Most of these students are in public schools which will actually go backwards under Malcolm Turnbull – with funding dropping from $167.3 million in 2016/17 to $138.4 million in 2018/19.
These cuts are not acceptable for anyone who believes in needs-based funding. Cutting vital programs from disadvantaged students is a disaster which will affect them for years to come.
Check out the ad here
Tasmanian schools to lose $70 million
In Tasmania schools will lose $70 million under Malcolm Turnbull, despite having higher needs than any other State.
The Budget Papers show that federal funding to public schools drops by $1.8 million from 2017/18 to 2018/19, a far cry from the 3.56% annual increase promised.
The Tasmanian Government has already warned that these cuts will mean that Tasmanian students will miss out on the support they need.
Students in Tasmania will be denied programs which we know are delivering results, and are improving their chances of finding work when they leave school.
Have a look at the Tasmanian ad here
Huge doubts around Turnbull’s policy
How can Malcolm Turnbull claim his schools funding policy is needs-based when his own Budget Papers show it will cut funding to public schools in Tasmania and the Northern Territory?
This is just one of the questions surrounding his alternative to Gonski. An alternative funding model which will deliver fewer resources, where key details are still unknown, and to which no State has signed up.
We still do not know how its extra funding will be distributed and what the balance will be between public and private schools.
It is a far cry from Labor and the Greens commitment to providing an extra $4.5 billion in funding in 2018 and 2019 and distributing it according to student need.
Simply indexing funding after 2017 won’t deliver the boosts in resources which disadvantaged schools need, and which they will get under the full six years of Gonski funding.
We need to make sure that every school is funded according to need, so that every student can get the help they need at school to prepare them for life and work.
We need Gonski funding in full, not a pre-election fix from Malcolm Turnbull that cuts funding from disadvantaged schools and students.