The Australian Education Union is calling on the Morrison Government to deliver urgent funding for public schools in line with the recommendations of the Gonski review delivered a decade ago.
The book ‘Waiting for Gonski: How Australia failed its schools,’ written by Tom Greenwell and Chris Bonnor highlights the Federal Government’s failure to implement the recommendations of the Gonski report and the detrimental impact that has had on Australia’s public schools.
AEU Federal President, Correna Haythorpe said the clear recommendations of the report have been ignored by successive Coalition Governments and educational inequalities in Australia have continued to escalate as a result.
“The Morrison Government has failed the public schools of Australia by repeatedly shirking their responsibility to properly and adequately fund public education,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“By arbitrarily imposing a funding cap on Commonwealth contributions to public schools, the Morrison Government is ignoring the additional needs of students from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds.
“The 2022 Report on Government Services revealed that the Morrison Government currently provides only 16 per cent of public school funding, at least $2 billion per year below their already sub-standard 20 per cent cap.
“In sharp contrast, per student government funding for private schools has grown at 2.5 times the rate of public schools in the last decade.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequities in education at an accelerated pace. Without substantial investment in public school funding, buildings and equipment, public students will be left behind by the Morrison Government.
“Increased investment in public school funding will provide long term educational and economic gains that the broader Australian community will benefit from for generations.
“The upcoming Federal Election is an opportunity to elect a Federal Government that fairly and adequately funds public schools and prioritises quality education for all Australian children, no matter their background or circumstances.
“It is an opportunity to restore the vision for fair funding for every school and every child laid out in the Gonski review,” Ms Haythorpe said.