House debates

Monday, 2 May 2016

Private Members' Business

School Funding

12:25 pm

Photo of Eric HutchinsonEric Hutchinson (Lyons, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

It was described by the Premier of Western Australia as 'panicked and disjointed'. Nobody sitting in that room at the time actually believed that these were funded commitments. They were unfunded promises by those opposite. The reality of the situation, of course, is that we have record amounts of funding going into education.

The other point that I would make is that the Commonwealth's responsibility for funding schools amounts to 15 per cent or thereabouts of the total funding that goes to schools; 85 per cent of the responsibility lies with the states. I just feel that those opposite there are looking at the trees—albeit the seedlings, I might add—and not the forest. Over the last 10 years, the Commonwealth's contribution to funding education has increased by 66 per cent. The states' contribution, on the other hand, has increased by seven per cent.

In Australia, it is very interesting. We have seen enrolments in Australian schools increase by 18 per cent between 1987-88 and 2011-12 and Australia's funding increase by 100 per cent, and yet our international rankings on reading, literacy, mathematics and science have fallen between eight and 10 places in comparative jurisdictions. This is like the definition of madness.

Ms Ryan interjecting

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