BREAKING: Abbott Govt proposes end to public school funding
5:59 PM (23 minutes ago)
BREAKING: Fairfax papers reported last night on a leaked Abbott Government proposal to end Federal Government funding of public education and to make some parents pay to send their children to public school.1
Those changes would mean the end of our public education system as we know it. They fly in the face not only of common sense and our common values, but of expert recommendations put forward by the Gonski review panel – the most comprehensive review of school funding in 40 years. And come on top of the Abbott Government huge blow to our public schools by cutting $30 billion in funding in last year’s Federal Budget.
A massive public backlash against the Abbott Government’s attacks on our universal Medicare system forced them to back down. Now this leaked government paper gives us the chance to bury these terrible schools proposals before they even get off the ground. But we need to act quickly and in huge numbers – starting by sharing this news with everyone we know.
From university down to kindergarten now, Education Minister Pyne and Prime Minister Abbott seem hell-bent on tearing down every rung on the ladder of opportunity for everyday Australians. This statement from Mr Pyne says it all:
“Having talked to the Prime Minister about this matter many times, it is his view that we have a particular responsibility for non-government schooling that we don’t have for government schooling.“2
That’s right, the “government” is renouncing responsibility for “government” schooling. That’s why one proposal in the leaked government paper is for the Federal Government to stop funding public schools altogether.
This would place the funding burden of public education entirely on the states, which is untenable. At a cost of $150 billion over ten years, it would mean the devastation of public schooling, along with educational opportunities for millions of Australian children.3
The costs of that inequity will be felt on the entire economy in higher unemployment, lower earnings, lower productivity, less tax revenue, higher social welfare costs and higher crime rates.4
Will you sign the petition to stop this assault on the aspirations of everyday Australian families? https://www.getup.org.au/free-education
The expert Gonski review panel into school funding found that Australia’s international ranking in education is slipping and recommended a needs-based model whereby funding is allocated based on a school’s size, location and the needs of individual students. Crucially, Gonski recommended that most government funding should go to public schools, where student need is higher.
If the Abbott Government guts funding for public schools, it will amount to an attack on evidence, and an attack on the future of education.
What can our children aspire to be when every educational opportunity to lift themselves up is being stripped away, from kindy to uni? Let’s stand together to ensure schools have the resources to meet student needs – and create future opportunities and a stronger economy for all.
Thanks for standing up, once again,
Mark, Alycia, Nat and Daney, for the GetUp team
PS – Another broken promise? Before the 2013 Federal Election Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne announced they were on a “unity ticket” with the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on education funding because they knew how important universal access to a quality education is for all Australians.5 Now they’re launching a full frontal assault on our public schools. Make them pay the political price for this broken promise by signing and sharing the petition today.
 Tony Abbott’s school reform paper proposes cutting federal funding, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 June 2015
 As above
 As above (Note: $150 billion cost over ten years is based on a reported cost of $15 billion per year)
 Correcting the Course for Australia’s Education System: Why we need to adopt The Full Gonski, Chris Bonnor and Jane Caro, 21 May 2013
 Tony Abbott says Coalition will honour Gonski school funding plan for four years, ABC News, 2 August 2013
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