Victorian public schools will take over Burston Reserve at the rear of Parliament today to demand Scott Morrison reverse $804 million in cuts to Victoria’s public schools.
More than 1600 Victorian ‘public schools’ will be planted today in a spectacular display as part of the national Fair Funding Now! Campaign.
Today’s event also marks the launch of the Fair Funding Now! mobile billboards campaign in Victoria. Mobile billboards will travel around the Victorian electorates of Corangamite, LaTrobe, Dunkley and Chisholm, informing voters and the community of the importance of securing fair funding for local public schools.
Australian Education Union Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said that voters in Victoria are outraged the Morrison Government had cut funding for public schools.
“The Morrison Government has turned its back on public schools and public school students,” said Ms Peace.
“Mr Morrison’s plan will leave all public schools in Victoria funded below the national minimum resourcing standard.”
This means that every public school in Victoria will not have enough funding to meet the needs of its students for the next five years and beyond. That’s Scott Morrison’s idea of a fair go,” Ms Peace said.
The Andrews government is the only state/territory government that has stood up to the Morrison government and refused to sign a national school funding agreement that does not fund public school students at the same level as private school students.
“Today we have demonstrated the impact of Scott Morrison’s public school funding cuts with our field of Fair Funding Now! schools at the rear of Parliament. This is a visual representation of every public school in Victoria and the extra funding they stand to receive under Labor’s commitment to deliver $804 million in the first three years of a Shorten Labor government,” Ms Peace said.
The AEU has launched a national advertising campaign reminding voters about the failure of the Morrison Government to fairly fund public schools. This national campaign will run across television, radio, newspapers, online and social media as well as billboards in the lead up to the federal election.
Recent polling in Corangamite shows an overwhelming number of voters say public school funding will be an important or very important issue for them when deciding how to vote.
“Nearly two thirds of voters polled in Corangamite, including nearly 44% of Liberal voters, said a much greater investment in local public schools was a better use of federal funding than tax cuts for high income earners,” Ms Peace said.
“This is a clear rejection by the electorate of the Morrison Government’s cuts to public school funding. Students are being denied the additional support and programs they need because of these cuts.”
“The Morrison Government coerced state governments except Victoria into signing its bilateral school funding agreements by threatening to withhold funding.
“It is time for a change of government, one that is serious about investing in our public schools,” said Ms Peace.
The Deputy Premier and Education Minister, James Merlino will be in attendance at the launch.
AEU Victorian Branch President Meredith Peace will also be joined by parent/principal Tanya Burton from the electorate of Chisholm.