New evidence has revealed Tasmanian schools would lose $100 million in resources 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.
That’s right – disadvantaged schools in the state with some of the biggest gaps in school resourcing and achievement would go backwards under Malcolm Turnbull.
Tasmania has a Liberal Government, but they are deeply concerned by their Federal counterparts’ failure to fund the last two years of Gonski, and its impact on Tasmanian students.
Their submission to a Senate Inquiry into schools funding calculated that Tasmania will miss out on $100 million in schools funding if the state doesn’t get the last two years of Gonski funding from the Federal Government.
That $100m is critical because it is only in the last two years that Tasmanian schools will see the type of investment that is needed to cut class sizes, increase the one on one support for students who are struggling and put in place new literacy and numeracy programs.
Gonski funding is already making a difference, so why would Malcolm Turnbull want to stop it?
State Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff warned that Tasmania’s disadvantage could become entrenched if its students don’t get the support they need at school.
“It is considered that only committing to four years of Students First funding will not be sufficient to see the levels of sustainable generational change that we all want to see,” he said.
He said that Tasmania had the highest level of socio-economic disadvantage of any state and needed a strong education system to give its children the best chance in life.
Tasmanian schools have been historically underfunded, with low rates of Year 12 completion. They need more investment, not less, if Tasmanian kids are to get the education they need for the 21st century.
This is why Malcolm Turnbull needs to match Labor’s promise and invest an extra $4.5 billion in schools to fund the final two year of Gonski.
To deny children the chance of a quality education, simply because they live in a poor state goes against everything the Gonski stands for.
Malcolm Turnbull has even proposed stopping all Federal Government funding to public schools, leaving it up to State Governments.
This terrible idea would hit poorer states like Tasmania the hardest, and would see Tasmanian students falling further behind.
We need all governments to work together to ensure quality education is available for every child in Australia.
Tasmanian students don’t need cuts to disadvantaged schools and an end to the funding of the full six years of Gonski.
They need Malcolm Turnbull to back Gonski in full and offer bi-partisan support for proper funding of their schools.
We can’t afford to have Tasmanians leave school without the skills they need for work and life.
Funding schools properly, and making sure all our kids get the education they need - regardless of which state they live - in is an investment in Australia’s future.