Some PCA members have raised concerns about the adequacy of the increases in their indicative SRP to account for some of the new initiatives in the agreement, particularly in relation to the funding for the professional practice days and the learning specialist positions.
The state government has chosen to fund the agreement, consistent with their approach over the last three agreements, on the basis of a percentage increase to the per student rates through both the credit and cash components of the SRP.
This means that the agreement is fully funded at the statewide level with variations possible at individual schools depending on the number and mix of enrolments and the staffing profile.
At the end of the day, funding of our schools is inadequate.
The most recent Productivity Commission report shows that each Victorian public school student is funded $2,059 less than the national average.
The funding allocation methodology of the SRP is also part of the challenge as it ignores the imbalance between the per student fund in rate and the actual cost of staffing, building maintenance, and utilities expenditure, among many other things.
This is a situation made worse by the Turnbull government’s abandonment of the original Gonski funding deal which leaves our schools hundreds of millions of dollars short next year and beyond.
We are continuing to engage with the department about SRP funding for next year. If you need further advice or support about your indicative SRP please contact your AEU PCA organiser Glennis Pitches. We are happy to work with you and the department to try to resolve individual school issues.
With a federal election likely to be held next year, it is critical that we continue to campaign to see changes in the Commonwealth’s funding of our schools.
Sadly, under the Turnbull scheme only 1 in every 10 public schools in the nation will be funded to the Gonski schooling resource standard by 2021, compared to 65% of private schools.
We will also be campaigning to lift Victoria’s share of the funding leading up to next year’s state election. Watch this space.