Mr Birmingham: time to listen to teachers and state ministers on Gonski benefits

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham needs to listen to the state and territory education ministers at today's Education Council meeting, when they tell him he must keep Gonski funding because it is making a difference in schools.

Federation President Maurie Mulheron, Australian Education Union (AEU) Federal President Correna Haythorpe and several state ministers, including NSW's Rob Stokes, spoke to the media about pushing for full funding of the Gonski schools funding model in Hobart this morning, outside the venue of the ministers’ Education Council meeting.

Eleven months ago the Turnbull Government announced it wanted to cut the Gonski needs-based funding program short by two years. Details on an alternative funding plan have not been forthcoming.

Federation President Maurie Mulheron said today: "It was pleasing to hear all state and territory education ministers today confirm their commitment to the Gonski funding model. Clearly the federal government is on the wrong side of history."

Ms Haythorpe states in an AEU media release: “Thousands of students are getting the help they need to succeed at school, through extra literacy and numeracy programs, smaller classes and more one-to-one support. But only one-third of the extra funding in the Gonski agreements has been delivered, and we need funding to continue in 2018 and 2019 so all schools have the resources they need."

“Malcolm Turnbull has shown he has no plan to lift results, or properly fund schools, just a plan for cuts that will hit hardest the children who need help the most. “Why has he made it a priority to deliver a $24 billion cut to company tax, but not to find the $3.8 billion that would allow the Gonski agreements to be funded in full? He has no commitment to ensuring all Australian students can attend a school which can meet their needs.”

See full media release

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