NSW Teachers' Federation says needs-based school funding dream is in tatters

Giving a Gonski: Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker says the federal government's schools funding is 'real'.
Giving a Gonski: Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker says the federal government's schools funding is 'real'.

The NSW Teachers’ Federation says the dream of needs-based schools funding is in tatters with the introduction of the federal government’s Gonski 2.0 funding.

Federation organiser Ian Watson says figures received under the Government Information (public access) act show NSW public schools will have $846 million slashed from the signed Gonski initiative compared to the newly announced funding model.

“This money was due to be provided in 2018 and 2019 under the Gonski funding agreement signed by the commonwealth and state governments,” Mr Watson said.

The teachers’ federation organiser says the state government ‘agreed to a fully-funded needs-based model’.

“The entire Gonski review was a very complex and comprehensive review of needs-based funding for schools,” he said. “The federal government has come out with an arbitrary decision that is not based on any research.

“The original, signed Gonski review and agreement was about getting each school to a resource standard. With these cuts, these schools won’t reach that minimum standard.”

Mr Watson said another key difference was that the signed funding model would have seen 80 per cent of the additional funding going to public schools while the current plan would see less than 50 per cent directed into the public school system.

Our model is comes with the support of David Gonski and provides every school in Cowper with substantially more funding

Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker

But federal MP for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker disagreed.

“The teachers’ federation is at it again. Their claim was never budgeted and nothing more than a pie in the sky promise,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that (then prime minister) Julia Gillard made a promise that she knew she would never have to deliver on. They are unfunded promises that were never in any budget.”

Mr Hartsuyker described the current deal as ‘real’ and one that cleans up 27 different arrangements.

“Our model comes with the support of David Gonski and provides every school in Cowper with substantially more funding,” he added.

The cuts to funding projections for each NSW public school under the federal government can be found on the NSW Teachers’ Federation website

You can check the federal government’s funding plans for schools by clicking on the schools funding estimator.