House debates

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions without Notice

Education Funding

2:42 pm

Photo of Darren CheesemanDarren Cheeseman (Corangamite, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth. Will the minister outline to the House why it is important for all states and territories to sign up to the National Plan for School Improvement?

2:43 pm

Photo of Peter GarrettPeter Garrett (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. The answer is that it is important that every single student in our nation is able to get the resources applied in their school to their needs. That is why state premiers and chief ministers need to sign onto the National Plan for School Improvement. We are willing to invest almost $10 billion in additional Commonwealth money to make sure that kids get better support in schools. The Premier of New South Wales understands that. The Premier of South Australia understands that. At the school level I think people get it. We have principals in Victoria who understand it. I saw an article in the Colac Herald, which is fromthe member's electorate. On the front page we have a principal saying:

It would mean we would be able to implement literary and numeracy support programs …

A secondary principal said it would provide the 'best possible education experience for every student'.

Let us look at Queensland. I think they get it on the ground in Queensland as well. Kenmore State High School, which is in the electorate of Ryan, would see their per student public funding grow between 2013 and 2019 at approximately 40 per cent. That is why in the letter the Kenmore State High School Parents and Citizens Association said that the current system is failing too many children and this important education reform will provide resources where they are needed most.

It is actually time for those opposite to face up to these facts. The fact is that under A National Plan for School Improvement, their schools will see more resources going to help those students in need. The Kenmore High School P&C Association meets on the third Monday evening of each month. Assuming that ministers and shadow ministers are not banned from going to a school in Queensland, I call on the P&C to consider suspending standing orders and bring in the member for Sturt so that he can explain why he wants to sack one in seven hard-working teachers; bring in the Leader of the Opposition to explain why he thinks providing resources to government schools is an injustice. They could even bring in the member for Bowman: he could come across the city from the other side and he can hold up his 'I give a Gonski' poster, couldn't he? That is what it has come to. All of these resources that are there to assist the schools in your electorates, some of you are supporting it and, at the same time, some of you others are pretending that it will not make a difference at all. It is time for state premiers to put the interests of their students first and sign up to A National Plan for School Improvement. Better schools for all Australians.