The Australian Education Union said education ministers meeting in Sydney today needed to commit to the overhaul of schools funding arrangements and the urgent injection of $5 billion recommended by the Gonski Review.
“This is an opportunity for ministers from across the country to demonstrate to students and families that they are serious about ensuring that every child receives a high quality education,” AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said.
“Education ministers need to put their political differences aside and commit to overhauling a funding system that has been found to be failing too many students.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get schools funding right. The evidence of the need for change could not be clearer.
“The Gonski Review found the current funding arrangements are unfair and inequitable and lack coherence and transparency.
“We are holding our children back by under-investing in education. It’s jeopardising the future opportunities for our children and the prosperity of the nation.
“The greatest need is in public schools where the required investment is around $3.8 billion a year (in 2009 dollars). As the Gonski Review stated the ‘need for additional expenditure and the application of what those funds can do is urgent’.
Mr Gavrielatos also urged ministers to support the union’s call for the continuation of federal funding for literacy and numeracy programs in schools.
“Funding for the highly successful Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership ends this year and it must continue if we are to ensure the gains made so far are not lost by schools having to cut staff and programs in this vital area,” he said.
"We want to see long term reform in the way public schools are funded so they do not have to rely on add-on funding such as the National Partnerships. But while final decisions are being made on the Gonski Review, the resources that public schools have must not be cut.”