PM urged to reverse public school funding cuts
An open letter signed by around eleven thousand people, which insisted that savage cuts to public school funding be reversed, has been sent to the office of the Australian Prime Minister.
The letter criticised the Federal Coalition’s policy of favouring private schools while simultaneously cutting $1.9 billion in funding for public schools in 2018 and 2019.
On Thursday 23rd August the AEU and Fair Funding Now supporters unfurled a colourful six-metre-wide banner in front of Parliament House in Canberra. The banner carried the names of the thousands of public school supporters who signed the letter.
Fair Funding of public schools will be a critical issue in the upcoming federal election. Under the Federal Government’s funding arrangements for schools, more than 2000 private schools have received special funding deals while only 13 per cent of public schools will receive enough funding to reach the minimum Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) by 2023.
The open letter called on the Prime Minister to provide funding for schools based on need:
“We, the undersigned, are writing to express our serious concern about the impact of funding cuts to public schools on children and the wider community. We call on you to immediately reverse the public school funding cuts and not enter into another private school special deal.
We are particularly concerned to learn through the media that your Government is considering a special funding deal with the private school sector while the challenges facing the public sector remain unaddressed. Public schools bore the brunt of 86% of your Government’s cuts to schools with $1.9 billion denied to public schools in 2018 and 2019.
Your Government’s 2017 education reforms will result in just 13% of public schools reaching the Schooling Resource Standard by 2023 while 65% of private schools will be ABOVE that standard. That situation is completely unacceptable and does not meet our expectation of how our schools should be funded.
School funding should be based on need; the funding priority should be ensuring that every school reaches 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard by 2023.
Investing in our public schools is an investment in our future and is the only way to ensure every child across this country can get the high quality education they deserve.”