Don't support Malcolm Turnbull's school funding cuts on 28 July.
In Saturday's Longman by-election you have the power to stop Malcolm Turnbull's savage school funding cuts.
If his cuts go ahead, Longman schools will miss out on $18.3 million in funding.
That extra funding was intended to cut class sizes, bring in specialist literacy and numeracy teachers, and give more one-on-one support to children falling behind. Instead, Turnbull is giving $17 billion to the big banks.
The Turnbull Government, supported by Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, cut $18.3 million in funding from State Schools in the Longman electorate in 2018 and 2019. They cut $458m from State schools in Queensland and cut $1.9 billion from State schools across Australia.
So vote for your children's sake on July 28.
Teach Turnbull a lesson. Don't support his cuts to our schools.
Background to the cuts
2018 should have been a year of celebration for our schools. The start of the biggest investment in schools in decades. Needs-based funding started in 2014 after the independent “Gonski review” warned too many children were missing out due to lack of resources. These reforms were delivering:
Smaller class sizes.
More specialist teachers in areas such as literacy and numeracy.
More help for students with disabilities or behavioural problems.
And those in danger of dropping out.
Schools are missing out on billions that should have been delivered this year and next year. In five states and territories that money was set out in signed agreements. The Parliamentary Budget Office said State schools are $1.9 billion worse off under the Turnbull plan than the arrangements that were previously in place.
The children worst affected by the cuts are the ones with the highest needs.
What we want is needs-based funding that ensures all schools can meet the agreed school resource standard. But the Turnbull Government legislated to cap Commonwealth funding to State schools at 20% of what they need to reach the minimum schooling resource standard. The Commonwealth will fund private schools to 80% of schooling resource standard. Some of the biggest increases in funding go to the schools that need it least. That isn’t fair and it certainly isn’t needs-based funding.
Disability funding has been cut. And the Turnbull plan will leave almost 9 out of 10 State schools still below the national resource standard in 2023.
Private schools retain a $1.9 billion capital fund alongside their recurrent funding, but State schools get no Commonwealth capital funding to help State schools build new classrooms and facilities to cope with growing enrolments.
Gonski funding has given Caboolture East State School resources to refine its teaching culture and give its students support to overcome barriers to learning.
Caboolture East State School, north of Brisbane, has used Gonski to lift the performance of students and turn itself into a high-achieving school.
Principal Julieanne Wilson says Gonski has given the school the resources it needs to refine its teaching culture and to give its 700 students the support they need to overcome barriers to learning.
The school’s motto is: “No matter my journey, my pathway to success starts here” and Ms Wilson says Gonski has allowed the school to start thinking for the long-term and not put limits on what students can achieve.
Caboolture East has high numbers of students from low-SES backgrounds and with disability and through use of Gonski funding has recorded strong improvement in results and developed strong links with its local community.
Better teaching, better results
Staff at Caboolture have been able to use its extra resources to focus on four areas: Reading, Numeracy, Writing and “Upper Two Bands” which focuses on its Gifted Students in the top bands of NAPLAN achievement.
They have developed reading, writing and maths programs to ensure consistency in practice across the school, and Gonski funding has also allowed investment in improving teaching practice.
Staff have more time for professional development and to work together on improvement, and the school has been able to employ pedagogical leaders to focus solely on ensuring a consistent approach to teaching in the school.
Mrs Wilson says the school now has a culture where it is normal for staff to watch each others’ lessons and learn from them, and where a cycle of feedback is encouraged.
She says building the skills of teachers, benefits the whole school and helps retain staff by developing their passion for teaching.
For Gifted students the school uses the “Impact” program which is quite expensive to run but which has had great results in challenging and extending gifted students.
The school is also now able to run programs in conjunction with local universities and TAFEs to show students the opportunities they have after they leave school.
Student improvement is obvious
For reading and maths (and for writing from 2016), students are given diagnostic tests at the start and end of each term. Teachers are able to use this data to inform their teaching and allows the school to track student’s improvements and plan for future targeted area.
The vast majority of NAPLAN data also shows that Caboolture East is consistently improving and the school has seen jumps in NAPLAN data that correlate directly with its focus areas.
Mrs Wilson says that the school wants to use the full six years of Gonski to enhance the STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering) teaching expertise because these are subjects which will be crucial for their students’ future in the workforce.
Maintaining the full six years of Gonski funding is crucial for Caboolture East – both to extend its existing programs and ensure it has the resources to keep its standards of teaching high and provide professional development to new staff.
Mrs Wilson says that Gonski has given the school some control and certainty over its funding but it needs the full six years to give its students the support and opportunities they need.