Labor has committed to restoring Malcolm Turnbull’s planned $22 billion cut to schools over the next decade, and returning to needs-based funding if it wins the next election
That means there is now a sharp difference in schools policy between the major parties.
Labor leader Bill Shorten used his Budget Address in Reply last night to say that: “A Labor Government will restore every single dollar of the $22 billion the Liberals have cut from schools- down to the last cent."
This is the most positive news that has come out of a week which saw Malcolm Turnbull’s schools funding policy unravel, with the full scale of his cuts to schools revealed.
When compared to honouring the Gonski Agreements in full, Malcolm Turnbull’s proposed funding model would leave schools $3.2 billion worse off in the next two years alone.
Those cuts mean thousands of students denied extra literacy and numeracy programs and other in-class support to help them achieve at school.
Instead, Malcolm Turnbull chose to deliver a $65 billion company tax cut ahead of giving our children the resources they need at school
With Labor’s announcement we now have a choice between investment in schools, and support and opportunities for our students, and the cuts to Gonski that Malcolm Turnbull is offering.
Labor’s pledge on Gonski puts more pressure on state and territory governments to fight Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts, and on the Senate to block the legislation needed to implement the Turnbull plan.
The Greens have already suggested they are open to passing the legislation, but will wait until an inquiry is completed in June. We need all Senators to stand up for needs-based funding and block government attempts to make their flawed plan law.
Under Malcolm Turnbull’s plan, 84% of public schools would not reach the minimum Schooling Resource Standard by 2027.
Next week will see Education Minister Simon Birmingham meet with his state and territory counterparts, followed by a meeting of Malcolm Turnbull and state premiers in June.
We expect them to stand up for their schools, and the Gonski funding their students need.