PRO-GONSKI: Supporters of Gonski school funding protest against education funding reforms outside of the office of Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.
PRO-GONSKI: Supporters of Gonski school funding protest against education funding reforms outside of the office of Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker. Keagan Elder

What is the true value of Gonski?

SCHOOL funding has been split by politics and the figures have been muddied in the process.

While the major parties argue their funding schemes better suits the needs of schools, billions of dollars lay in the political divide.

If you are a parent, I bet you are questioning which - if any is - is the best option.

On one side, the Federal Government is flagging its Quality Schools funding, which is said to deliver $242.3 billion to Australian schools over the next 10 years.

While on the other, Opposition spokeswoman for education Tanya Plibersek argued $22 billion would be cut from school funding under the Turnbull Government and was backed by the NSW Teachers Federation.

Gonski supporters roll up outside of Coffs Harbour High School.
Gonski supporters roll up outside of Coffs Harbour High School. Keagan Elder

As the NSW Teachers Federation rolled on to the Coffs Coast with the Gonski mobile billboard, it drew in dozens of supporters of the original Gonski scheme.

The truck stopped at Woolgoolga High School, Coffs Harbour High School and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker's office.

NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron delivered a speech claiming schools in the Cowper electorate would lose $27 million in funding over the next two years, as $846 million would be slashed from schools across Australia under the Quality Schools reforms.

The majority of the Gonski funding under the original agreement, introduced under the Labor government in 2013, was set to be dispersed over the next two years.

But the NSW Teachers Federation said this would all be scrapped.

Mr Mulheron said schools would lose about four-fifths of proposed funding as a result of the reform change.

Under the reform change, non-government schools are set to receive more funding than public schools with the split being 80-20.

Meanwhile, Mr Hartsuyker refuted claims there would be education funding cuts under Quality Schools.

"(Quality Schools) is an excellent package, $18.6 billion investment in education based on need,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Every school in Cowper receives increased funding.

"I put out this challenge to the local teachers federation to provide the budget that contains the funding they claim is cut.

"The simple fact of the matter is there are no cuts.”

But as the old adage goes, the truth lies somewhere in between.

If somebody has the definitive figures, please get in touch. As a journalist, I beg you.



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