The campaign for the fair, equitable schools funding offered by the Gonski model has enjoyed strong support in NSW – and support that crosses party lines. In recent weeks, members of NSW parliament have renewed their support for Gonski funding, and the great work the funding is facilitating in NSW schools to lift student outcomes.
On March 28, member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, strongly endorsed “the outstanding reforms of the Gonski funding agreement”.
She said evidence clearly showed how Gonski funding was “levelling the playing field in schools right across Australia and is ensuring that the most disadvantaged students have the same opportunities as their peers”.
She gave a detailed account of how just one school in her Shellharbour electorate had lifted learning levels with the $388,897 it had received in extra funding. More than 40 per cent of students at this school, Hayes PS, come from the families in the lowest income quartile and many struggle to grasp key reading and spelling concepts, she said.
“The money already received has literally transformed the lives of local students and helped to deliver them the best possible start in life,” Ms Watson said, urging all NSW MPs to do everything they could to persuade the federal Coalition government to deliver years five and six of the Gonski plan.
Labor MP for Fairfield Guy Zangari, on March 28 announced that he would on the next sitting day of state parliament submit a motion to the house calling on the Berejiklian government to ask Canberra for the full Gonski payout instead of cutting funding for years five and six.
Liberal NSW MP Gareth Ward on March 29 moved a motion of support for Gonski in parliament that “calls on the Commonwealth government to honour its agreement with the NSW government with respect to the Gonski needs-based funding model”.
Mr Ward, MP for Kiama and newly-appointed parliamentary secretary for education in the NSW government, said that as a person with a disability he fully understood the impact of Gonski disability funding on the lives of students with disabilities who needed extra teaching and resources.