Premier Will Hodgman will break a promise and be complicit in locking-in a decade of public school underfunding if he fails to take a stand against Turnbull’s cuts at the COAG meeting in Hobart, the AEU said today.
“If Will Hodgman continues to toe the Turnbull Government line, rather than fight for Tasmania’s signed Gonski Agreement, his legacy as Premier will be one of selling out the future of a generation of Tasmanian children,” said Helen Richardson, AEU Tasmania President.
“Hodgman’s own Education Minister stated in a written public submission that if our Gonski agreement was axed, Tasmania would not see the generational lift in education outcomes that were needed.
“Axing of our Gonski agreement cuts $85M in Gonski funds, in the next two years alone, and cuts funding growth rate to that of the lowest of any state – despite Tasmania being the highest need state.
“Will Hodgman needs to stand up to Turnbull at COAG, join with other premiers, and reject the Prime Minister’s plan to rip up our six-year signed Gonski agreement – an agreement he pledged to protect.
“Will Hodgman signed a pledge in 2014 to fight for Tasmania’s Gonski agreement, which included a commitment to use COAG as a key platform – now is the time for the Premier to finally deliver on those promises.
“If Hodgman fails to stand up at COAG, he will be the only premier to have fought for the interests of Malcolm Turnbull over the educational needs of kids in his own state.
Turnbull’s alternative school funding plan means for Tasmania:
- An $85M cut in Gonski funds over 2018/2019
- A funding indexation rate of 3.9% – the lowest of any state (despite us having highest need) and one that will barely keep pace with ‘education inflation’.
Turnbull’s plan more broadly means:
- Overfunded private schools will jump from 16% now to 65% in 2027. (Read more about Turnbull’s plan to increase overfunding to private schools here)
- After 10 years, most public schools will still not have reached the schooling resource standard.
- Public schools receive less than half of the extra funding. This contrasts with the Gonski agreements whereby 80 per cent of extra funding in 2018 and 2019 goes to public schools.
“Tasmania’s Gonski agreement is the only plan in place to meet the needs of our students and to provide them with the teachers, literacy and numeracy programs, and other specialists that they need to reach their full potential,” said Ms Richardson.
“Premier Hodgman needs to deliver on his promises and fight for our Gonski Agreement and not welcome a deal from Turnbull where the only certainty is cuts and underfunding and being denied the support they need for quality education.”
Further information: Harriet Binet, AEU Communications, 0427 841 760.