Gonski national week of action starts on July 28

Gary Zadkovich
Deputy President

During week 3, term 3 schools are asked to host meetings and distribute materials to inform parents and community members about the benefits of Gonski school
funding.

It is hoped members of school communities will then be willing to lobby MPs on the need for the Abbott Government to reverse its decision not to fund the fifth and sixth years of the NSW Gonski agreement.

This national week of action, July 28–August 1, is supported by Federation, the NSW Primary Principals’ Association and the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council.

Information kits are being prepared to help schools plan their activities.

By not honouring the final two years of the Gonski agreement, the Abbott Government is denying much needed funding for students. The decision to abandon the fundamental architecture of the Gonski funding model will have grave long term consequences for individuals and our nation as a whole.

By their actions the federal Liberals and Nationals show they have no commitment to ensuring that all students, wherever they attend school, will have sufficient funding allocated to meet their needs.

The federal Coalition’s abandonment of Gonski contrasts sharply with the position of their NSW counterparts. Much to their credit, Premier Mike Baird and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli have declared that they will fight for the full six years of Gonski funding. To back their words, they announced in the State Budget on June 17 that money would be allocated to fully fund the state’s share of Gonski funding.

Federation members and community supporters are urged to continue to lobby all federal Liberal and National politicians, calling on them to convince Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Education Minister Pyne to honour the NSW Gonski agreement.

Until they do, Federation will continue to campaign, based on the clear premise that any government that could so spurn the educational needs of the children of our nation by demolishing the most significant and positive school funding reform in the last half century, does not deserve to be re-elected.

Recent activities

Recent activities to continue the pressure on the federal Coalition to reverse its funding position include:

  • Federation hosting a lecture by renowned Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg on June 16. He spoke of the importance of government investment to achieving high equity and high quality in school education.
  • lobbying of Liberal and National MPs from targeted federal electorates at Parliament House in Canberra on June 19.