Schools are missing out on billions that should have been delivered this year and next year.

The Issue

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.

So what is
the problem?

Scott Morrison’s idea of a fair go is to cut $14 billion from public schools and hand billions extra to wealthy private schools. He has turned his back on kids in public schools. His plan will leave 99 per cent of public schools below a national resource standard and 99 per cent of private schools at that standard or above it.

Public schools are missing out on billions that should have been delivered in 2018 and 2019.

In five states and territories that money was set out in signed agreements. The Parliamentary Budget Office said public schools are $1.9 billion worse off under the Liberal-National government's plan than the arrangements that were previously in place.

These cuts hit hardest the kids who need our help the most. When you cut public school funding you cut funding for students with disability, you cut funding for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, you cut funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, you cut funding for students at risk of falling behind.

What we want is needs-based funding that ensures all schools can meet the agreed school resource standard. But the Liberal-National government in Canberra legislated to cap Commonwealth funding to public 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. 

See all the facts on the Coalition's record on school funding.

"The "fair funding
Now!" solution

Every child has a right to a quality education and the opportunity to learn and fair funding for public schools is the best way to help them get it.  We are calling on all political parties to support the following:

  • Reverse the $1.9 billion cut to public schools in 2018 and 2019 ($14 billion over the decade).

  • Agreements should be struck between the Commonwealth and the states and territories to ensure every public school is funded to 100% of the schooling resource standard (SRS) by 2023.

  • Remove the 20% cap on the Commonwealth share of the SRS from the Australian Education Amendment Act.

  • Establish a capital fund for public schools ($300m in 2018 and increase each year in line with enrolment growth and rising costs) to ensure all students are educated in classrooms and learning spaces where their needs can be met.

  • Reverse the cuts to disability funding in five states and territories

As the alternative government, Labor has pledged to reverse the $14 billion of public school cuts and stop kids missing out. 


Party policies

Check out how much extra funding Labor has promised your school at this website. The Australian Labor Party has pledged to reverse the Scott Morrison Liberal-National Government cuts to public schools and make the largest investment ever into our public schools. Labor's promise of $14 billion extra over the next 10 years ($3.3 billion from 2020-2022) for public schools will mean smaller class sizes, more one-on-one support, additional teachers and support staff, and more support for children with disability.


The Greens party policy is available here. The Greens have pledged $20.5 billion in additional funds over the next ten years. Every public school will reach 100% of their Schooling Resource Standard funding needs by 2023. They have also said they will guarantee $320 million of capital funding a year to public schools and work to reverse cuts to funding for students with disability.