Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has described claims by the Australian Education Union (AEU) that the federal government is slashing funding to state schools as an appalling and misleading political campaign.
The AEU said data released this week showed that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s education plan would slash $265 million from South Australian schools in 2018 and 2019.
Australian Education Union South Australian Branch President, Howard Spreadbury, said it was school children who will lose out under Turnbull’s cuts agenda.
“The current Gonski needs-based funding agreement is already making a difference in South Australian schools; it is delivering individual programs to extend and support students from across the state,” Mr Spreadbury said.
“We now understand that instead of delivering on the full needs-based funding model the Turnbull Government is committed to slashing a whopping $3.2 billion from schools across the country; SA schools alone will lose $265 million in only two years.
However Mr Ramsey has strongly refuted that claim.
“All schools in this state will receive significantly increased funding,” Mr Ramsey said.
“The new funding model has been hailed as finally addressing the unfairness of the old system and introducing a true, needs based funding model. This is what teachers and schools have been asking for.
“… David Gonski has said the model introduced by the Gillard government was not what he recommended.
“Instead it entrenched unfairness under 27 different funding agreements across Australia and here in South Australia we were shafted.
“By comparison Mr Gonski has endorsed the coalition’s model. The government is delivering the ‘True Gonski’.”
Mr Ramsey said the Turnbull government has committed to a higher fixed percentage of funding delivered against the Schooling Resource Standard ensuring the neediest get the most.
“Every school in Grey is better off next year as a result of the new funding plan,” he said.
“Schools will receive on average a 5.2% increase and the amounts will continue to increase year on year throughout the next ten years ensuring funding will rise by well above 5% per annum per student for the next ten years.
“Most importantly the commitment locks an increased fixed ratio of federal funding for our state-owned and operated schools of 20% and this in turn is predicted to rise by a further 72% over the decade.
“To ensure this ratio is not eroded by unpredictable rising costs, for the first time the funding will be indexed against an education cost index rather than the CPI fully protecting its true value.”