The most important educational reform in over 40 years is under threat because of a federal government that is openly hostile to public schools and the work they do. But we have come too far to allow this critical reform to be scuttled because of ideology.
Federation will support the Australian Education Union Vans to Canberra strategy that has begun and which concludes with an event in Canberra on March 18 in the lead-up to the May Budget. Particular emphasis will be placed on those NSW public school communities that are included in the itinerary and associated events. Members are encouraged to visit Federation’s website for updates.
Federation also understands the importance of the Senate Select Committee on School Funding that was recently established with the support of the ALP and the Greens. Federation will encourage all public schools throughout NSW to develop a short submission in support of the Gonski funding model and calling for its full implementation. A simple submission page can be found on the national I Give a Gonski website (www.igiveagonski.com.au).
Why do we need to defend the model?
The essential elements of the funding model recommended by the review panel chaired by David Gonski included an explicit Schooling Resources Standard for all Australian schools which incorporated six loadings that took into account school profiles based on socio-economic status, Aboriginal enrolments, English language proficiency, disability, remoteness and school size.
A six-year transition model was proposed to enable all schools to be lifted to the minimum resource standard.
The Gonski panel recommended that state and Commonwealth governments take joint responsibility for funding the model, with the Commonwealth taking the lead role. The Federal Government was to contribute 65 per cent with the participating state governments the remaining 35 per cent. The Federal Government was to index its contribution by 4.7 per cent, with participating state governments obliged to index their contribution by 3 per cent.
Under the national agreement reached in April 2013 between the NSW and Commonwealth governments, the following additional funding should flow into NSW schools during the transition years.