Three things voters must know

Election_choice_280_x_280.jpgThis election is crucial for the future of our schools.

We need you to vote for Gonski, and let your friends and family know the huge difference Gonski resources will make to our schools.

Schools need investment, they don’t need Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts.

Failing to deliver the full Gonski is failing our kids. Without resources schools won’t be able to offer the programs their students need, and that will hurt Australia in the long run.

Gonski funding is changing lives in schools across Australia and we need that to continue.

Here’s what you need to know before you vote.

One: There are real differences on schools funding policy

Unlike the 2013 election, where the Coalition promised a “unity ticket” on Gonski funding, their policy of ending Gonski after 2017 is in stark contrast to Labor and the Greens.

Malcolm Turnbull wants to stop Gonski funding after 2017. That means two-thirds of the extra funding that schools should be getting won’t be delivered, a total of $3.8 billion in 2018 and 2019.

Labor and the Greens have committed to funding Gonski in full. That means disadvantaged schools would get the funding they require to meet their students’ needs.

Every school will be worse off under a Coalition Government. They will miss out on funds which could be used to make a huge difference to our children’s education.

If you want to see how much schools in your electorate will miss out on under Malcolm Turnbull click here.

On top of that, Malcolm Turnbull still cannot tell us how he will fund schools after 2017.

He can’t say how funding will be distributed, whether it will be needs-based, or which States will be worse off. His own Budget Papers show a cut in funding to public schools in Tasmania and the NT after 2017.

Two: Gonski funding is already working

Gonski funding has been distributed to schools in NSW, SA and Queensland since 2014, and in Victoria from this year.

This funding is already delivering improved results.

Schools are using it to deliver smaller classes, more one-to-one support, extra literacy and numeracy programs and professional development to lift the quality of their teaching.

Barrack Heights Public School in Shoalhaven, NSW, has used Gonski funding set up two special classes for children with learning difficulties. These have allowed students to get individual support and early intervention, and have seen many students able to return to mainstream classes.

Beenleigh State High School in Brisbane has used Gonski to improve student engagement and welfare, and has lifted its attendance and Year 12 completion rates, as well as its academic performance.

These are just two examples of the hundreds of schools making a difference to their students

Every school is benefiting, but the biggest increases are going to disadvantaged schools and their students, who are getting the help they need to succeed at school.

Three: Schools need the full six years of Gonski funding

But this is only the start.

Under the Gonski agreements extra funding is to be delivered over six years, so that every school reaches the minimum resource standard it needs to give its students a quality education.

Without the final two years of Gonski, many schools will not get those resources and their students will miss out on the help they need to achieve at school.

Australia has huge gaps in achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged students, and these gaps are widening.

Our pre-Gonski funding system ignored this and delivered some of the biggest increases in funding to schools which needed it the least.

We need the full six years to turn our funding system around and ensure all schools are funded based on need.

That way we can ensure that kids who need help at school get it, regardless of what school they attend.

That’s not just important for them. It is in all our interests to make sure that students leave school with the skills they need for work. Research shows that making sure all students leave school with basic skills would save Australia $72 billion in welfare payments and increased tax revenue

Cutting Gonski funding would be a short-sighted decision that would short-change our kids, and damage Australia’s economy in the long term.

We can’t let that happen, and we need you to vote for Gonski on July 2nd.

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