2019 federal election: the fight goes on
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 4, 31 May 2019, page no. 4
The 2019 federal election saw Australia deliver a similar result as it did in 2016 – a government elected by the smallest of margins. The extreme political agendas of some of the minor parties again played a major role in significantly disrupting the two-party system.
QTU members campaigned hard across the state to get the message out that fair funding for all local state schools was important for our county’s future. Unfortunately, other issues dominated the election campaign, and we are left to ponder where to from here.
Queensland is left with one of the lowest funded state school systems in the country, thanks to a bilateral deal signed by the state government prior to the election, which will see the state’s contribution to the schooling resource standard stagnant at 69 per cent, on top of the federal government’s 20 per cent funding cap on schools.
However, it is important to celebrate the successes we have achieved during the past year. In several electorates, sitting Morrison government MPs were forced to address our concerns and talk about education. Our members built strong relationships with parents and the broader community.
I would like to pay particular tribute to a number of our campaign volunteers who worked with our Campaign Coordinators to engage in all of our campaign activities, including member to member phone calls, community market stalls and parent engagement outside the school gate. We had thousands of conversations and direct member and parent contact across the length and breadth of the state.
As we reflect on the result, we will continue to meet with federal Members of Parliament and Senators and to seek positive reform to federal education policy, both in terms of school and TAFE funding and other key issues such as the national review into NAPLAN and national professional standards. We will also continue to seek representative teacher and school leader voices on all key government decision-making bodies in the education portfolio.
For those of you who participated in the Fair Funding Now! campaign we say thank you. Thank you for volunteering your time for an important cause and for wanting to make the opportunities for the students we teach every day fairer, no matter what their postcode or family circumstances.
We will continue to seek reform. For now, we can reflect on our efforts and celebrate the relationships we have built and the teamwork we developed in all of the communities where school funding was discussed in the lead up to the election.
We can only hope that the small margin the government holds will keep them listening to teachers, principals, parents and community members who want to see a fairer, sector-blind, needs-based funding system for all schools.