Thursday, 20 September 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Education. Two out of every three children, about 2½ million kids, go to a public school. Why is the government continuing to cut $14 billion out of public schools over the next decade? And do you guarantee that agreements with states and territories for public school funding will be signed in the next 14 days, as the Prime Minister promised yesterday?
I would like to thank the shadow minister for her question. Can I just reiterate again—and this comes from someone who attended a public school for part of their public schooling, a state school; so this is something which I take incredibly seriously—Commonwealth funding for state schools was $6.8 billion last year. It will be $7.3 billion this year, $7.9 billion next year and $8.6 billion the year after that. When it comes to the bilateral negotiations with state and territory governments, as I said last Friday at the Education Council meeting, I look forward to beginning those negotiations as of now, and I look forward to concluding them as soon as I possibly can. I've already had very good discussions with New South Wales, very good discussions with the Northern Territory. I made an offer to the Queensland state minister, Grace Grace, whom I'm sure the shadow minister would know, to fly to Brisbane and begin negotiating with her at any time that she would like as well.