Wednesday, 17 October 2018
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Liberal-National Federal Government has announced it will give an additional $4 billion to the Catholic and Independent school sectors following an intense lobbying campaign, and
(ii) public schools, despite teaching two in three students in Australia, are underfunded and, under the current system, almost 90 per cent of public schools will not receive the funding they need to meet the educational needs of their students; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to cancel the special deal with Catholic and Independent schools, and commit to funding public schools fairly, including diverting the full $4 billion into underfunded public schools.
The government's funding model for Catholic and independent schools is consistent with the needs based approach. It was based on a recommendation made by David Gonski in 2011 and taken up by Michael Chaney in his review of school resourcing. State governments are the majority funder of state schools, and the federal government is providing funding to the state school system on an agreed needs based approach. Commonwealth funding for state schools was $6.8 billion last year. It will be $7.3 billion this year. It will be $7.9 billion next year, and it will be $8.6 billion the year after that.
You don't advance the interests of students by pitting public schoolkids against non-government schoolkids. Labor has actually acted and announced $14 billion of funding to public schools. We won't be taking lectures from the Greens. Last year the Greens wanted to vote with the government to cut funding to public schools, and Senator Hanson-Young called it a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The only reason the Greens opposed it in the end was because Lee Rhiannon took on the party leadership and won in the party room, and that stand subsequently cost her her job. And who replaced her? Senator Faruqi. This is absolute hypocrisy from Senator Faruqi and the Greens—knock off Lee Rhiannon for defending public schools and then try to claim the moral high ground. Only Labor stood up for public schools from the start, and only Labor can be trusted with public schools.