Gonski funds for Victoria

Girl_writing.pngVictorian schools will get an extra $358 million in needs-based Gonski funding in 2017, under new allocations announced by the Andrews Government.

This will allow schools to build on what Gonski is already achieving, through smaller classes, more one-to-one support and extra programs for kids who need them.

But schools won’t have certainty beyond next year, with Malcolm Turnbull wanting to scrap Gonski funding, a move that would cost Victorian schools $950 million in 2018 and 2019 alone.

While Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said that the Victorian Government will “continue to provide equity funding to help our schools and students most in need”. There is still no definite commitment from the Victorian Government to funding its share of Gonski in those years.

We need Victoria, like all State Governments, to commit to its share of Gonski and keep the pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to fund the full six years.

How much will your school get?

Because the funding is based on student need, the 2017 amounts vary but many schools are getting significant amounts which will give them the chance to do more for their students.

To find out how much your school will receive click here.

This funding is on top of the usual increases for indexation and for rising enrolment. It is new money for new programs and schools can decide how best to spend it.

Kambrya High School in outer suburban Melbourne was the school profiled in ABC TV’s Revolution School documentary for the success it has had in improving student results.

Principal Michael Muscat writes here about how important extra needs-based funding has been in achieving those results.

We know schools using their Gonski funding for a range of things: literacy and numeracy programs, smaller class sizes, more support staff and professional development for teachers, all of which are lifting results.

Here are a few other ways Victorian schools have used their Gonski funding in 2016:

  • Appointing a play-based therapist to work with students from traumatic backgrounds at Dallas Brooks Community Primary School
  • Creating specific numeracy and literacy resources, hiring teachers, teaching assistants and more support staff at Sunshine College
  • Appointing a Koorie engagement officer to improve Koorie student attendance at St Georges Rd Primary School
  • Creating a specialist music program called Fusion Music at Narre Warren South P-12 College.

States need to fight for full six years

Gonski funding is making a difference in Victoria, and will be crucial in ensuring all students have access to opportunity in the State which has historically had the lowest government spending on schools in Australia.

This was worsened by the previous government’s failure to pass on Gonski, which meant Victorian schools only began receiving extra resources this year.

That means that if we don’t get the full Gonski right through until 2018, Victorian schools will have only got two of the six years they need!

That means that thousands of disadvantaged students won’t get access to programs which could help them.

For students who are waiting for literacy and numeracy support or assistance with a disability and for schools struggling with tight budgets that can’t support every student that needs it, this money is essential.

If the Andrews Government is serious about being the Education State, it needs to get serious about delivering the full Gonski.

If you want Daniel Andrews to put students first and back Gonski  If you support Gonski then sign the petition today and let education ministers know they must stand up for our kids.

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