All aboard for Gonski

The I Give a Gonski campaign is stepping up with the launch of a national bus tour – aimed at getting the message to the community that Gonski is getting results, and that our kids can’t afford Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts.

The next few months is crunch time for Gonski, as we fight Malcolm Turnbull’s plans to scrap Gonski needs-based funding after 2017.

Two Gonski buses set off from Adelaide and Brisbane to visit schools and communities across Australia before arriving at Parliament House in Canberra on March 22.

The Adelaide bus was launched by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones launched the Brisbane bus.

AEU Federal president Correna Haythorpe said Gonski needs-based funding was turning students’ lives around, but Malcolm Turnbull was ignoring the evidence of its success.

“We know Gonski funding is working and schools across Australia are using it to benefit students through greater one-to-one support, targeted literacy and numeracy programs and smaller classes,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Malcolm Turnbull wants to get rid of Gonski after 2017 and stop funding schools based on need. This would deny schools across Australia $3.8 billion in extra funding, and mean many schools would never get the resources they need to provide support for all their students.

“Losing these resources would be a disaster for schools, which would be unable to build on the success they are already achieving and ensure every student who needs support can get it.

“It is hard to understand why Malcolm Turnbull can find $50 billion for a company tax cut, but can’t find the funding to give all our kids the chance of a good education."

Malcolm Turnbull has said he wants to do a deal on schools funding with the States at April’s COAG meeting with Premiers, yet there is still no concrete proposal on the table.

The I Give a Gonski campaign will be stepping up in the coming months. The bus tour will run alongside national TV, radio and digital advertising to inform the community about the funding that is at stake.

State and territory governments have said they will not support Gonski cuts, and private school peak bodies have publicly said that it is too late for a new funding system to be in place by next year.

“It is clear that Malcolm Turnbull is running out of time to reach agreement with the states. He needs to listen to them and fund the Gonski agreements in full,” Ms Haythorpe said.

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