Teachers back Minns and Car in fight for education funding

NSW teachers have endorsed the strong determination of Premier Chris Minns and Education Minister Prue Car to secure full funding for NSW public schools from the Commonwealth Government.

Under a Morrison-era agreement NSW public schools receive only 89 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), the level of funding needed to properly attend to the learning needs of all students. This equates to a $1.9 billion shortfall. The Albanese Government’s proposed state-federal funding agreement rejected by NSW and other states still fall billions short of the needs-based funding target devised under the Gonski reforms of 2012.
At a press conference in Queanbeyan this morning, Premier Minns said:

“We need the Commonwealth Government to up their contributions to public school funding… when it comes to agreements between the State and the Commonwealth the full Gonski amount from the Commonwealth Government needs to be supplied and the reason for that is they have deeper pockets.”

NSW Teachers Federation President, Henry Rajendra, agreed that the Commonwealth had the financial firepower to fully fund public schools.

“It is simply unconscionable that children in public schools are missing out while private schools, which receive substantial public funding, splurge on unnecessary vanity projects such as equestrian centres and Olympic pools.

“Premier Minns and Minister Car are taking a strong stand for public education. We applaud them for doing so and urge them to maintain the pressure.

“But now it’s time for the Prime Minister to step up.

“The Prime Minister must also remove the funding loophole created by the Morrison government that further short-changed NSW children. The loophole allows the artificial inflation of the SRS by including costs not directly related to the learning needs of students such as capital depreciation and regulatory costs. In NSW public schools in 2023 this equated to $640 million being diverted away from public student learning in order to inflate the state’s overall SRS share.

“Plugging this hole would be transformative. Increased recurrent funding and expanded permanent staffing would mean smaller class sizes allowing more one on one time for students with complex needs.

“Instead of viewing this as a cost to the Budget, it must be seen as an investment in our kids. Giving all children the start they deserve will allow them to make the most of their potential and contribute to their community and the nation.”