Parents, school communities and state ministers remain united in their fight against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s agenda of education cuts that will see Australian students miss out on $3.2 billion in funding in 2018 and 2019.
Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the Australian Education Union, said today’s meeting was a farce, aimed at giving states the illusion of consultation, in an attempt to railroad states to agree on a flawed plan.
“There has been no negotiation about education funding under Turnbull’s government. States don’t agree with slashing vital funding to our schools. In response, Turnbull released a flawed policy without consultation with states in an attempt to force their hand – but it didn’t work,” said Ms Haythorpe.
“Turnbull has abandoned the COAG process in its haste to force its new funding model through parliament, and cut funds from schools.
“They have abandoned the key principle of the Gonski agreements: that state and federal governments work together to lift all schools to a minimum resource standard.
“You can’t lift student outcomes with a policy of education cuts – it doesn’t matter how Turnbull spins it, the numbers don’t add up.
“Today we saw several state education ministers address our crowd of concerned teachers and school community members and support needs-based funding. State ministers know that under Turnbull’s plan their students will lose vital funds.
“The rejection by state ministers highlight why the Senate must reject this policy. The Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team cannot support education cuts that leave kids across the country worse off.
“Turnbull’s agenda gives a little to take a lot. But parents, teachers and state education ministers can see through their spin to what this plan will actually mean: cuts to essential school programs that are already making a difference in the lives of school children.
“Our communities and I Give a Gonski campaign supporters will not stop fighting for the future of our children – we will not go away.
“The Turnbull government needs to abandon their plan of education cuts and deliver the current needs-based funding agreements in full – that’s what children across our country need and deserve,” said Ms Haythorpe.