Union looks to build on success in ongoing Gonski campaign

Federation is to evaluate all aspects of the schools funding campaign as it embarks on the next push for Gonski needs-based funding.

At annual conference, President Maurie Mulheron congratulated activists on their sustained efforts for the Gonski campaign, which has achieved wide understanding in the community of the importance of a needs-based model for recurrent schools funding.

Federation, in close collaboration with the federal AEU and other state branches as well as allied principal and parents groups, has never before been able to mobilise the number of supporters for such a sustained period than has occurred during the Gonski campaign.

Mr Mulheron said school funding was “not a win-loss campaign” but a “permanent, long game campaign”.

“This campaign has spanned the generations of activists and will continue to.”

He said schools funding had come a long way from the “corrupt” schools funding model of the Howard era. During that time the federal government delivered about 65 per cent of its school funding to private schools, yet those schools only taught 35 per cent of students.

But, Mr Mulheron reminded annual conference that “apart from political expediency at different times, the Coalition have never supported any aspect of Gonski funding reform.”

He reinforced to conference that beyond the six- year transition period, Gonski represented a recurrent funding model that must be fought for to ensure that no school ever falls beneath the minimum resource standard.

“If that’s not worth fighting for, then I don’t know what is worth fighting for.”

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