Today’s kids can’t wait any longer for schools funding cuts to be restored

“Every year in a child’s education counts — you can’t say we can wait another three years to do something for these kids; you can’t say that,” federal Labor’s shadow education minister Tanya Plibersek said in an address to Federation’s May Council meeting.

Ms Plibersek made reference to the wording on the union’s mobile billboard, which communicates that if Scott Morrison’s government wins the federal election “our kids lose”.

“If Scott Morrison wins, you lose… but what really matters is the kids that you will be facing on Monday; they lose; the kids that you will go back to schools to see on May 20th.

“If Scott Morrison stays the Prime Minister, they lose. And kids can’t afford to lose.”

Labor has committed to reversing the Morrison Government’s $14 billion of cuts to public school funding over the next decade, including investing $3.3 billion back into public schools in the first three years of a Labor government.

“The difference we are talking about when we talk about fair funding for schools is hundreds of thousands of dollars in your schools over the next three years alone,” she said.

“The students that you are fighting for cannot afford to lose that sort of funding.”

“Scott Morrison, in the debate with Bill Shorten [3 May], said it’s not just about the dollars,” she added.

“The money pays for people.

“It’s your time with your students; it’s the ability to focus one-on-one on their needs; it’s the opportunity to identify kids who are struggling and help them give them the support they need.

“It’s the ability, if you want to, to get in the speech pathologist or occupational therapist or do the welfare work that children need before they can concentrate on learning, when they’re coming to school stressed, upset, hungry because of whatever is happening at home.

“It’s the opportunity that that extra funding gives you — that’s what you’re fighting for in this election campaign.”

Ms Plibersek also covered Labor’s TAFE and pre-school policies in her speech.

— Kerri Carr