Veteran Gonski campaigner Dianne Byers urges teachers and parents to keep up their efforts to achieve needs-based funding for schools, as outlined in the signed NSW Gonski agreement.
“Continue to lobby all MPs and senators in the federal parliament. Keep tweeting, emailing, visiting and Facebooking,” she says.
“As long as it takes, our students are worth it.”
From writing initial submissions to the Review of Funding for Schooling in 2011 to the current action against the Turnbull government's plan for massive funding cuts, the campaign for needs-based funding has not stagnated at any point and is still going strong, she says.
“We’ve probably consumed about 648 kilos of iced green cake, produced enough green shirts to stretch from Sydney to Adelaide, waved cardboard hands, written with I Give a Gonski pens, worn caps, badges and shoes, emailed, tweeted, attended rallies, added our names to the 175,431 supporters on the I Give a Gonski website, spoken to teachers, teacher colleagues and politicians.”
“I have never seen parent engagement in a campaign to the extent of this one,” says Ms Byers, who teaches at Narellan Vale Public School and is a member of Federation's Executive.
“My school had a Channel 9 news crew outside the gate and several parents spoke passionately and articulately about the negative impact [the Turnbull government funding cuts] would have. They understand."