Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge’s announcement of yet another education review ignores the significant body of evidence that already exists about the failure of the Federal Government to address the school funding equity gap.
Australian Education Union (AEU) Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that 2011’s Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling set out a clear framework to establish a truly needs-based school funding system to address the entrenched inequity in Australian schools and provide all students with a high quality education.
“We do not need another review to tell them what is blatantly obvious – that in order to improve student outcomes, the government must address the school funding inequity in our education system,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“As ACER’s Dr Sue Thompson has noted, ‘acknowledging that the primary underlying factor behind poor achievement is socioeconomic background, and finding ways of redressing the imbalance in opportunities and resources available to these students, will help lift achievement for all Australian students.’ ”
“Federal Government school funding legislation and bilateral funding agreements have created a $19 billion public school funding shortfall through to 2023. According to the latest Report into Government Services, private school funding per student grew 2.7 times faster than public school funding per student in the last decade,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“This means that public schools, which educate the vast majority of students from remote, lower-socioeconomic, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, will be denied the resources needed to close student achievement gaps.”
“Despite over a decade of national dialogue about the importance of needs-based funding and the critical link between equitable funding distribution and student outcomes, the Federal Government has failed to ensure that public schools have the resources necessary to work with students who have higher needs for education support.”
“National action on the critically important issue of funding for public schools is urgently needed. The Federal Government must ensure that all public schools are funded to 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard to deliver the funding and resources needed to provide a high quality education for all students.”
“For every child to achieve their full potential, Australia’s school funding inequality must be rectified,” Ms Haythorpe said.