MPs Joel Fitzgibbon, Meryl Swanson and Sharon Claydon have joined teachers from their electorates in the Hunter, Paterson and Newcastle to draw attention to the cuts to public education made by the Australian Government.
“The government has slashed funding to public schools right from the outset,” NSW Teachers Federation Regional Organiser Jack Galvin Waight said.
“In 2018 and 2019, it will cut $1.9 billion from public school funding.
“This week’s action in the Hunter is a message to the new Prime Minister that this situation is not acceptable.”
While more than 2000 private schools have already been given special funding deals by the federal Liberal-national government, only 13 per cent of public schools will receive enough funding to reach the minimum Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) by 2023.
“All we have heard lately from the government is how hard it is working to hand over billions of additional dollars to non-government schools in special funding deals,” Mr Galvin Waight said.
“What about the students who attend public schools across the Hunter?
“They have been forgotten by the Turnbull government and continue to be ignored by the new Prime Minister.
“Our public school students deserve better and it was great to see that our MPs in the Hunter understand this, and have all reaffirmed their commitment to reversing the cuts.”
Teachers and members of parliament in the Hunter are calling on the federal government to:
* Immediately reverse the $1.9 billion cut to public schools for 2018 and 2019;
* Resource all schools to ensure public schools are funded to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) by 2023;
* Establish a capital works fund for public schools ensure all students are educated in classrooms and learning spaces where their needs can be met; and
* Provide more support for students with disability.
“Needs-based school funding is about providing additional resources where they are needed most,” Mr Galvin Waight said.
“Under the Turnbull government’s schools funding arrangement, 70 per cent of private schools currently receive extra funding via special funding deals made this government.
“It is unbelievable that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and new Minister Dan Tehan would focus on resolving the Catholic school funding ‘issue’, when the real issue is with the 2.5 million public school students who have been forgotten by this government.
“The Prime Minister’s highest priority should be to restore the $1.9 billion in funding he took from the public school budget for 2018 and 2019, and restore funding fairness to the Australian school system.”