Investment in schools has an economic dividend for the nation, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said in a debate against Treasurer Scott Morrison at the National Press Club recently.
He showcased how the high school he attended — St John’s Park — used its improved funding under the Gonski model to invest in intensive support for its special education students.
“Frankly, even just a year ago these students would have been transitioning not to work, but to welfare,” Mr Bowen said.
“Now, thanks to the intensive help they’ve received from their school — funded through the Gonski model — they are getting and holding down full-time jobs in real workplaces, paying taxes, not drawing welfare.”
Treasurer Morrison said: “Of course investment in education is a positive thing — that’s why we’re increasing spending to public schools by one-third.” He said there was “wild agreement about the fact that education is important” but that “where there is a disagreement is how you pay for it.”
— Kerri Carr