Federal liberals ‘betray' the neediest students

The federal liberal party has again displayed its dangerous and destructive lack of vision for Australia.

The comment by the Federal Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, is further evidence that this government does not value the transformative power of education, nor does it understand equity

The comments by the liberal party are disingenuous and have been made in an attempt to cover up their intention to ignore the needs of students across Australia and indeed within St George.

The Prime Minister before the election made it clear that the liberal party no longer wanted to fund public schools and now these comments by the federal minister are further proof that this government is trying to abrogate its responsibility for education.

The federal liberal/national government have now clarified, without a doubt, that they have no intention of funding the fifth and sixth years of the Gonski model, the years where two thirds of resources will be delivered.

This decision will mean that students in Australia will have four billion dollars less to support them and schools in Barton will be 26 million dollars worse off, whilst those in Banks will have 31 million less.

The independent Gonski review recommended a funding model that would bring schools up to a minimum resource standard.

The federal government is ignoring this recommendation and the advice of principals, teachers and parents across Australia.

This decision will ensure that schools will not meet this minimum resource standard.

The evidence is in and Mr Coleman, the Member for Banks, is well aware of the great programs that schools are implementing.

Teachers across St George and indeed across Australia have communicated the positive difference that additional Gonski funding is making each and every day.

This needs based funding is helping teachers to support our most disadvantaged students and extend our most capable.

Teachers are implementing programs to support students in many ways, such as creating smaller class sizes, implementing literacy and numeracy programs and programs for students with disability, as well as supporting newly arrived migrants and gifted students.

These transformative programs have been implemented at a time when only 18 per cent of the total funding has been delivered to schools.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli supports Gonski and he has indicated that he will not support a model which will strip money from students in NSW.

Mr Piccoli said that if money is stripped from NSW then “that means war.”

Providing the resources to allow all students to achieve their potential is imperative for the future strength of the Australian economy and the nation.

A failure to fully fund Gonski is irresponsible and is a decision based on ideology rather than future prosperity.

It is time for Mr Coleman, the Member for Banks and his liberal party colleagues to listen to the advice of principals, teachers and the community.

It is time they stop playing politics with the most important asset we have, a child’s growth, development and education.

  • Glenn Hokin, St George Teachers Association member


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