Malcolm Turnbull’s Federal Budget papers reveal cuts for Tasmanian public schools at the same time as funding to private schools will increase above Turnbull’s own indexation rate and above inflation, the AEU Tasmanian Branch said today.

“Federal Budget papers show, in black and white, a cut of $1.8 million for Tasmanian public schools between 2017/18 and 2018/19 and effective cuts for all the years between now and 2020,” said Helen Richardson, AEU Tasmanian Branch President.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s budget papers show his plan to cut funding to Tasmania’s public schools – which educate kids with high and complex needs – while generously increasing funding to private schools that educate a higher proportion of advantaged kids.”

“Malcolm Turnbull says in his budget that he will increase school funding at an indexation rate by 3.56 per cent each year but over the next three years Federal funding to Tasmanian public schools will rise by a total of just three per cent – not even enough to keep pace with rising education costs or inflation.”

“When funding does not keep pace with rising costs it’s a cut and that’s what Malcolm Turnbull is proposing for Tasmania’s public schools, while ensuring generous increases to private schools.”

“A plan that cuts public school funding while furnishing private schools with extra money is not in any way shape or form needs-based funding – in fact it is the absolute antithesis of the letter and the spirit of the Gonski reforms.”

“Malcolm Turnbull’s plan is to axe Gonski and replace it with real cuts to public schools.”

“Malcolm Turnbull wanted to walk away from funding public schools entirely a few months ago – now it seems he has settled for cuts to public schools, while giving special treatment to the private system.”

“ALP Leader Bill Shorten has committed to the full rollout of Gonski, which for Tasmanian schools means up to an additional $100M in years 2018 and 2019.

“Malcolm Turnbull has a plan for public schools that funds paperclips and not an alternative to Gonski that would ensure schools are resourced and equipped to meet the needs of every child.”

“Malcolm Turnbull’s planned cuts for public schools is an insult to the professionalism and dedication of Tasmanian teachers, principals and support staff who are increasingly asked to do more with less.’

“If Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff thinks this is a good deal for Tasmania’s public schools then he needs to remove his rose-coloured glasses because we are about to get fleeced by Malcolm Turnbull.”

“Malcolm Turnbull’s school funding ‘plan’ is nothing more than a plan to entrench poverty and disadvantage in Tasmania – it’s not needs-based and it means cuts to public schools.”

“Minister Rockliff must decide whose side he’s on – is he on the side of Malcolm Turnbull or Tasmanian kids?”

FEDERAL BUDGET SUMMARY: Budget Paper No 3, pg. 30.

  • 2016/17 to 2017/18:
    • Malcolm Turnbull says schools will receive 3.56 per cent increase (indexation) in funding.
    • PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Federal funding to Tasmanian public schools grows by just 1 per cent, less than inflation and less than the promised indexation rate of 3.56 per cent.
    • PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Federal Funding to private schools increases by 5 per cent. More than inflation and more than the 3.56 indexation rate.
  • 2017/18 to 2018/19
    • Malcolm Turnbull says schools will receive 3.56 per cent increase (indexation) in funding.
    • PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Federal funding to Tasmanian public school funding is cut by $1.8million – a reduction from $178.9 down to $177.1 million.
    • PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Private schools receive an increase in funding of 3.7 per cent. That is more than inflation and more than the indexation
  • 2018/19 to 2019/2020
    • Malcolm Turnbull says schools will receive 3.56 per cent increase (indexation) in funding.
    • PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Federal funding to Tasmanian public schools increases by 3 per cent, less than the indexation rate.
    • PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Federal funding to Tasmanian private schools is 3.5 per cent, more than the indexation rate, more than the funding to public schools and more than
    • Private schools – funding increases by 12.2 per cent. Private school funding exceeds indexation rate each and every year.
    • Public schools – funding increases by total of just 3 per cent. Public school funding is below the indexation rate, each and every year, with cuts hitting in 2018/2019.

These Federal Budget revelations come just days after independent analysis of My School Data showed that federal government funding for private schools increased at double the rate of government funding for public schools between 2009 and 2014.

“Two sets of data, from two different sources (one of which is Malcolm Turnbull’s), tell the same story – Malcolm Turnbull will privilege private schools while cutting and under-resourcing the public system,” said Ms Richardson.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s true colours on school funding are now apparent – he will ‘advantage advantage’ and neglect need and that will be a disaster for Tassie kids.”

Further information: Harriet Binet, AEU Communications, 0427 841 760.



Download the Turnbull Federal Budget Paper No3 here (PDF)