Wednesday, 4 March 2020
Australian Education Amendment (Direct Measure of Income) Bill 2020; Third Reading
I'm just going to savour that for a moment! Those opposite, in their interjections, betray their complete ignorance of the funding agreement that their government has entered into with the states and territories. What those opposite don't understand is that public schools in their electorates will only ever receive 95 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard and loadings for their school. This is baked into the funding agreements that you have with the states and territories. The public schools in your electorates will never receive more than 95 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard, of the fair funding level for that school. That's what you have signed up to. Non-government schools will receive 100 per cent or more of their fair funding level.
We on this side don't begrudge the non-government schools that they're getting their fair funding level. What breaks my heart is that there are 2½ million children going to schools where they'll only ever get 95 per cent of their fair funding level. Why is that fair? Those opposite talk about their support for sector-blind, needs based funding. This is not sector blind. This is sector specific. It's as sector specific as it could possibly be. If you go to a catholic school you will get your fair school funding, if you go to an independent school you will get your fair school funding, but if you're one of the 2½ million children who go to a public school in this country you won't. It could not be more sector specific.
We know that it's public schools that educate the majority of children who have a disability. It's public schools that educate the majority of children that are in a small school or a remote school. It's public schools that educate the majority of First Nations children in this country. It's public schools that educate the majority of children who come from a language background other than English. It's public schools that are looking after the most disadvantaged kids in our country by and large, so this is neither sector-blind nor needs based funding. For those opposite to feign ignorance—are you feigning ignorance of this funding arrangement or have you ignored it? The only way for us to understand the fact that the funding cuts that we campaigned against are being restored for kids in the Catholic and independent sector but are not being restored for kids in the public sector is to believe that those opposite have deliberately made a choice to privilege two sectors over the third sector, which educates the majority of children in this country. If that's what you are agreeing to you should just be upfront about it. You should just be upfront about turning your backs on those 2½ million children.
Government members interjecting—
You really are not listening. Someone up in cockies corner just interjected, 'Are you going to vote against the bill?' No, because we actually support extra funding for Catholic and independent schools. We just want you to treat public schools fairly too.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a third time.