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Federal MP refutes claims school funding will be slashed

GIVING A GONSKI: Principals, teachers and students rally in a bid to persuade the Federal Government to continue Gonski funding.
GIVING A GONSKI: Principals, teachers and students rally in a bid to persuade the Federal Government to continue Gonski funding. Keagan Elder

FEDERAL Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker refuted claims the Federal Government would cut school funding at the end of this year.

In a letter to the editor Mr Hartsuyker wrote the Teachers Federation was "trying once again to scare parents with their tired and discredited fear campaign.”

"The facts are:

  • Federal funding for schools will increase every year - there are no cuts to schools funding. Funding will reach $20.1 billion in 2020, up from $16 billion in 2016. Funding is increasing faster than student enrolments or inflation.
  • Because funding will continue to increase every year, there's no reason schools cannot continue to support teachers and new or existing initiatives, such as specialist teachers or targeted intervention programs. Claims by the Teachers' Union that such programs are at risk are deliberate scare tactics for which they should be condemned.
  • There is no such thing as "Gonski". Bill Shorten stitched up 27 different funding deals with the various states, independent, and Catholic school systems around Australia before the 2013 election, including reckless promises of imaginary funding that was never in the budget. Shorten's sneaky deals have resulted in some students in NSW receiving less funding that students in similar circumstances in other states or territories. The Coalition is committed to returning to the genuine needs-based funding approach recommended in the Gonski report,” Mr Hartsuyker wrote.

This followed after dozens of teachers, principals and students led by NSW Teachers Federation Regional Organiser Ian Watson marched on Tuesday, in support of continued Gonski funding, which the Turnbull Government opposes.

United, and dressed in vibrant green, Gonski supporters poured into Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser's office to hand thank you cards for his support of the full Gonski.

Mr Fraser said the State Government had always been in favour of the Gonski scheme and would continue to lobby for support from the Federal Government.

"At times there are going to be differences between state and national governments even if we're in the same colours,” Mr Fraser said

Tuesday's march continued to Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker's office, where the rally voiced their opposition to the Federal Government's disapproval of the full Gonski funding.

Supporters both young and old rallied in Coffs Harbour on Tuesday in a bid to persuade the Federal Government to continue Gonski funding.
Supporters both young and old rallied in Coffs Harbour on Tuesday in a bid to persuade the Federal Government to continue Gonski funding. Keagan Elder

Mr Watson said the Turnbull Government wanted to get rid of the funding scheme after 2017 and would be huge detriment across all schools - public, private, Catholic and independent.

He said the $14 million issued to 69 schools across the Cowper electorate was only a third of the full Gonski funding.

Mr Watson said the May budget would be the next key date to mark what the next development would be.

He said the rally was not politically affiliated with any political party.

"We just want Gonski,” he said.

Topics:  andrew fraser gonski luke hartsuyker nsw teachers federation school funding



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