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Issue #1537      29 February 2012

Gonski review supports greater public school funding

The Gonski Review report reveals the urgent need for the reform of school funding arrangements and an investment of at least an extra $3.8 billion a year in public schools, the Australian Education Union AEU) said.

AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said the report exposes the dysfunctional and inequitable nature of the current school funding arrangements. “This report shows the immense social and economic cost of failing to reform the way we resource our schools,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“Public schools are being denied the resources they require to ensure the provision of high quality education for every child in every community.”

He said that there is a once in a generation opportunity to move to a fairer funding system that better meets the needs of all students. “We need to move immediately to implement the recommendations of the Review for the

creation of a schooling resource standard with appropriate loadings for disadvantage and an investment of at least an additional $3.8 billion a year in our public schools.

“Students and teachers in public schools have waited long enough. It is time to invest the funds that are urgently required. The report requires a commitment to reform from all levels of government. However, given the dysfunctional nature of the existing Commonwealth funding arrangements and its greater revenue raising capacity, the Commonwealth must contribute the largest share of the funding required.”

Mr Gavrielatos emphasised that there needs to be a clear timetable for the introduction of legislation this year to ensure new funding arrangements can be put in place by 2014 and that there will also need to be an additional investment in special education beyond the funding already identified after the completion of the work underway on the development of a common national definition for disability.

“As the report makes clear, there has been an under-investment in public school buildings and facilities and we are disappointed the Commonwealth has not yet committed to a greater investment in this area. We strongly support the development of a capital funding standard that all buildings and facilities in schools can be measured against.”  

Next article – AMWU takes aim at supermarket duo

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