"No School Will Be Worse Off"
The May Budget and the forward estimates will reveal whether Tony Abbott intends to fully honour his commitment on Australia's schools.
"So you can vote Liberal or Labor and you'll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school except you'll get $120 million more from the Coalition..."
Christopher Pyne, 29 August, 2013
"I can promise that no school would be worse off under the Coalition."
Tony Abbott, 15 July, 2013
"The Federal Coalition wants to improve education outcomes and we recognise the Gonski report has set out a road map to achieve this."
Christopher Pyne, May 2013
Before the 2013 Federal Election, the Coalition engaged in a spectacular back-down and committed to delivering the Gonski funding. Christopher Pyne had previously described Gonski as a “conski” but, in the face of overwhelming public support for a fairer funding system, the Coalition changed their tune and led us to believe they were on a ‘unity ticket’ when it came to resourcing schools.
Now, Joe Hockey has made comments about abandoning the 5th and 6th years of the funding transition when over two thirds of the funding is slated to arrive. Tony Abbott unilaterally removed Gonski from the agenda of today’s Council of Australian Governments meeting. And with the unprecedented attack on our community represented by the Commission of Audit's report, all indications are that Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne are now going to walk away from Gonski.
When David Gonski and his review panel identified the School Resource Standard to be allocated to every student’s education every year, and the extra loadings to support disadvantaged students, they did not pluck numbers out of a hat. They looked at what works now. They took a pool of schools where the overwhelming majority of students are already performing at a satisfactory level. They concluded that the resourcing level at these schools is the resourcing level every student needs to succeed. The whole basis of the Gonski funding is to ensure every student is given the opportunity to get the best possible start in life.
It is frustrating that the previous Labor Government determined it would take six years to transition to the appropriate resource levels, methodically identified by the Gonski panel. It will be unpalatable if the Abbott Government abandons the transition. It would be unacceptable if the 5th and 6th year, when two thirds of the Gosnki funding will be delivered, never arrive. If Tony Abbott’s declaration of a ‘unity ticket’ before the election turns out to have been a sham, it will be a betrayal of Australia’s children.
Today, we once again came together as concerned educators, parents and community members to urge our politicians to put students first and deliver the full Gonski. We will keep up our campaign until every Australian child gets the resources they need.