Call for the Prime Minister to Deliver on His Promise to Fully Fund Public Schools

An open letter to the Prime Minister calling for the full funding of public schools by 2028 at the latest has been signed by more than fifty organisations including principal, parent, disability, community groups and unions.

The letter, published in major newspapers across the country today, says it is unacceptable that only 1.3% of public schools are funded at the minimum level governments agreed was necessary more than a decade ago.

“Our children deserve a better and fairer education system. Fully funding public schools is a precondition to achieving that,” the letter states.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that along with publishing the letter, the union is in Canberra today to deliver thousands of postcards to the Prime Minister collected during a four-week road trip covering every state and territory.

“What we are seeing is a groundswell of support from the Australian community for the full funding of public schools,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Teachers, parents, principals, disability organisations, unions and community groups are united in saying this is a vital investment in our children’s future that cannot be further delayed.

“The Prime Minister promised to work with State and Territory governments to deliver full funding and this must happen by 2028 at the latest with all public schools funded to 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS).

“Full funding of public schools is the only way to ensure every child gets every opportunity to succeed. This investment will give teachers more time and support to meet the diverse and complex needs of their students.

“Only the public schools in the ACT are resourced at 100% of the SRS and only the NSW Government has pledged to fully fund public schools within the next five year bilateral agreement with the Albanese Government. We need all governments to work together to deliver 100% of the SRS for public schools.

“Closing the resources gap is an essential part of closing unacceptable achievement gaps between children from different backgrounds and it is public schools that educate the vast majority of children with higher needs.

“The Albanese Government is due to negotiate new bilateral agreements with each State and Territory next year. New research shows that without further investment public schools will remain underfunded by over $6 billion a year while private schools will be overfunded by almost $3 billion between now and 2028.

“Full funding will help attract and retain teachers at a time of a critical shortage. It will also have huge benefits for the nation with a recent report concluding that the economic payoff of fully funding public schools would be two to four times the annual cost. Further, the social benefits of providing a high-quality education for all children is life changing and enables all children to reach their full potential regardless of their background and/or circumstances”

The open letter can be viewed here.