A down-payment in the upcoming budget on more education spending, in line with the Gonski report's recommendations, would demonstrate a genuine commitment to real reform, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"A message that came loud and clear from the Gonski report was that, at a minimum, the government needs to invest an additional $5 billion in our education system. Let's get on with the reforms, and see a down-payment in next month's budget," Senator Brown said.
"We know that public schools teach a large majority of children with higher needs. Some 77% of low income, 86% of indigenous, 80% of disabled students, 72% of rural, 79% of children from single parent families and 84% of children from remote areas are in the public system. If the government fails to move quickly to guarantee at least a down-payment on reform, then they will be failing the very students that they have identified as those most in need.
"With funding for the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership Program ending on June 30, and Improving Teacher Quality due to expire next year, the Government needs to commit to continuing funding for these programs that have delivered real results to our most disadvantaged students.
"Real long-term reform is long overdue, and until we see a commitment of funds injected into our school system, the resources that public schools have benefited from through the National Partnerships should not be cut," Senator Brown said.