Fair Funding Now! launched locally across Queensland
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 5, 27 July 2018, p11
During May and June, parents, teachers and school leaders joined other concerned community members right across the state for Fair Funding Now! local launch events.
We kicked off in Cairns in the electorate of Leichhardt, where we heard powerful stories about the difference additional investment has already made in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia.
This was followed by launches on the southside of Brisbane, in Beenleigh (Forde) and Carindale (Bonner), and then we headed north to North Lakes for a combined launch for the Longman, Petrie and Dickson electorates.
The final two launches were held in Central Queensland, in Rockhampton (Capricornia) and Emerald (Flynn).
At each launch, we heard from local parents, principals and teachers about the difference additional resourcing has made in their local context and why we need to ensure that every school achieves 100 per cent of the schooling resource standard (SRS). At each local launch there was a consensus that the current funding model being implemented by the Turnbull government is neither fair nor transparent, and that we will continue to campaign until all schools receive fair funding.
Of particular concern is the additional investment the federal government is making in capital funding for facilities in non-government schools, while investing nothing in state schools. This part of the policy shines a light on how flawed the federal government’s whole approach to school funding is. Its model is not sector blind and makes no reference to the fact that state governments contribute both recurrent expenditure and capital funding to non-government schools, as well as state schools.
The Turnbull government model includes an 80 per cent SRS funding guarantee for non-government schools, compared to just 20 per cent for state schools. This will ensure that many non-government schools will be funded at greater than 100 per cent of the SRS in combined state and federal funding by 2023, while a large number of state schools will not reach 100 per cent. That is why the 20 per cent legislated funding cap for state schools must be removed and the needs of every student resourced appropriately.
Many parents who attended our local launches also told stories of the needs of students with a disability. Our campaign is also calling for the three levels of disability funding to be finally determined by the National School Resourcing Board, so that no matter where a child lives across the country, their needs will be met consistently and with appropriate levels of resourcing.
Along the way we have signed up hundreds of supporters for the Fair Funding Now! campaign. But there is more to be done. Signing up supporters and campaign volunteers and talking to your colleagues, family and friends can also help.
Contact your Regional Organiser if you would like to get involved in this important campaign locally.