Turnbull’s funding plan will favour private schools

If you thought Malcolm Turnbull had any commitment to needs-based funding for schools, think again.

A new analysis by education funding expert, Dr Jim McMorrow, has found the plan will simply entrench disadvantage by directing 62% of extra federal funding to private schools after 2017.

So much for the Coalition’s claims their new funding model will see “funding go where it is most needed”. In contrast, the Gonski funding model would see 80 per cent of extra funding go to public schools, where the Gonski Review found that the need is greatest.

Malcolm Turnbull’s plan would see schools get a total of $5.28 billion less from 2016/17 to 2019/20 – with public schools missing out on $4.475 billion in extra funds.

How the NT will miss out

In the NT schools would miss out on $100 million in 2018 and 2019 alone, meaning that schools won’t meet minimum resource standards and students will miss out on the smaller classes, more one-to-one support and extra literacy and numeracy programs Gonski is delivering.

On top of this, the Federal Government’s own Budget Papers show the NT’s public schools will have an actual funding cut of $28.9 million after 2017 – despite having the highest need profile in Australia. This would be in addition to cuts to public schools made by the Giles Government assuming they are not fully reversed by the new Gunner administration.

Dr McMorrow found there was ‘no educational rationale’ for the Turnbull Government’s education funding plan and it had ‘abandoned the Gonski schools funding model without any rational alternative’.

Malcolm Turnbull wants to end Gonski and take us back to a system where schools are funded by sector, not need, and where disadvantaged students don’t get the help they need to achieve.

The analysis also found that, after inflation, per student funding to public schools would increase by just 1.8% in 2018/19 and 2.1% in 2019/20 – that amounts to just $183 per student over three years for public schools compared with $309 per student for private schools.

The analysis found this tiny amount is not enough to pay for a single extra teacher in a public school with 500 students.

No commitment to needs-based funding

It is clear that the Coalition does not understand how important needs-based funding is for our disadvantaged schools and students.

The single biggest problem in Australian education remains the unacceptable gaps in achievement between students from different backgrounds and locations.

All the evidence shows that delivering the full Gonski funding is our best chance to ensure all kids get the support they need to reach their potential and close these achievement gaps.

The majority of disadvantaged students are in our public school system and that is where extra funding needs to go.

Sign the petition and tell Michael Gunner to stand up for Gonski

We are calling on all State and Territory leaders and education ministers to reject the Turnbull plan to abolish the Gonski funding arrangements.

The Gonski Review was the most thorough examination of schools funding in a generation, yet the Coalition wants to replace it with a funding model that is not based on need, and where key details are unknown.

We need Gonski so that all schools can have the resources that their students need to reach their potential.

New Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Territory Labor have made some promising noises but are yet to make a public commitment to Gonski. We want Michael Gunner to stand up for the NT and make sure our kids don’t miss out on additional resourcing.

If you support Gonski then sign the petition today and let Michael Gunner know he needs to stand up for our kids.

More info?

You can download Jim McMorrow’s report here: Jim_McMorrow_Precarious_state_of_schools_funding