Fair Funding Now! launched in Canberra
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 3, 13 April 2018, p11
On 27 March, parents, teachers and school leaders descended on Parliament House in Canberra for the official launch of the Fair Funding Now campaign, which is seeking to achieve fair funding for all schools across the country.
The Queensland delegation included 22 QTU members and parents from the federal electorates of Capricornia, Dickson, Flynn, Forde, Leichhardt and Petrie. All federal members received a delegation as part of the campaign except for the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, who refused to meet with local parents and teachers from his Dickson electorate.
The campaign was officially launched on the lawns in front of Parliament House with the release of the Australian Education Union’s policy document “Fair Funding Now – Delivering fair and equitable funding to public education”. The campaign calls upon the federal government to commit to the following.
- Fairer funding now: The Turnbull government should immediately reverse its $1.9 billion cut to state schools for 2018 and 2019.
- All schools properly resourced: Agreements should be struck between the Commonwealth and the states and territories to ensure state schools are funded to 100 per cent of the schooling resource standard (SRS) by 2023. The 20 per cent cap on the Commonwealth share of the SRS should be removed from the Australian Education Amendment Act.
- Upgrade classrooms and facilities: A capital fund should be established for state schools to help meet rising enrolment growth and ensure all students are educated in classrooms and learning spaces where their needs can be met. That fund, recommended by the Gonski Review, should be $300 million in 2018 and increase each year in line with enrolment growth and rising costs.
- More support for students with disability: The Turnbull government’s cut to disability funding in five states and territories should be reversed. The National School Resourcing Board should immediately review the three levels of funding for students with disability to better align them with the actual costs of delivering high-quality education.
A copy of the full report can be downloaded at www.qtu.asn.au/fairfundingnow
The Fair Funding Now! campaign will be mobilising parents, teachers and school leaders across key target electorates in the lead up to the next federal election, to ensure that the broader community is aware of the difference a truly needs-based sector-blind funding model for all schools would deliver. Without this critical funding, 87 per cent of state schools will receive less than their schooling resource standard entitlement by 2023.
For more information about the Fair Funding Now! campaign or to sign up as a supporter, head to www.fairfundingnow.org.au
Deputy General Secretary