A high-quality, equitable, well-funded public education system striving for excellence is the guarantee of a healthy and productive society. Let's go!, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"A clear message from the Gonski Review is that, as a minimum, the government needs to invest $5 billion in our public education system. Australia is in the midst of a mining boom. We can afford to prioritise the education of our children with properly applied proceeds from the mining tax," Senator Brown said in Hobart.
"In contrast to these recommendations for increased investment, an Abbott-led government would cut $2.8 billion in funding to our schools, including more than $700 million for improved teacher quality and support for low-SES schools.
"If you take a look at public funding of schools as a percentage of GDP, Australia is at 3%, lagging the OECD average of 3.5%, while the best-funded nations include Norway with 5%, 4.9% for Iceland and 4.2% for Denmark. Just to reach the OECD average Australia needs a further investment of $7 billion a year.
"The new funding model recommended by the Gonski Review would see significant new investment in public schools and poorer private schools and recognises the extra burdens faced by the public school sector in educating the most disadvantaged students.
"There should be a down-payment in this year's budget demonstrating the Government is committed to real reform, particularly given literacy and numeracy and teacher quality national partnerships are ending this year."