Communist Party of Australia


The Guardian

Current Issue

PDF Archive

Web Archive


Press Fund


About Us

Why you should ...

CPA introduction

CPA Policies

CPA statements

Contact Us

facebook, twitter

Major Issues





Climate Change



What's On







Issue #1777      May 17, 2017

Budget 2017-18

Education smoke and mirrors

In an unprecedented move, the head of NSW public education has been compelled to urgently write to every public school principal in the state, instructing them not to rely upon or trust the funding figures released by the Turnbull government.

Mark Scott, NSW Department of Education Secretary, wrote:

“I am aware that the Commonwealth Education Minister has written to you with an estimate of the funding increases that your school will attract from the latest announcement. You should not rely on these figures for future planning or budgeting purposes.”

It is now clear that the Turnbull government’s funding figures are a smokescreen for huge cuts to public schools, where every child and every school will lose.

The federal president of the Australian Education Union Correna Haythorpe said Malcolm Turnbull’s education plan would still see many schools fall short of the minimum resource standard, which means they wouldn’t be able to provide their students with all the support they need.

To quote Haythorpe: “There is no guarantee that any school will reach minimum resource standards, which means many students will continue to miss out.

She went on to ask. “How can Malcolm Turnbull say the full Gonski is not affordable when he wants to spend $48 billion on company tax cuts?” The government also has no difficulty in finding $1 trillion over the next 20 years preparing to fight US wars.

But the smoke and mirrors do not stop there. The Coalition has hijacked the union’s and ALP’s language with constant references, albeit hollow ones, to the “disadvantaged” and a “system based on needs”.

Recognising the success of the AEU’s “I give a Gonski” campaign, Turnbull has cunningly appointed businessman David Gonski to carry out another review.

The first 2012 Gonski report was commissioned by the Gillard Labor government and looked into the level of funding for schools.

This new review is to provide advice on how the funding should be invested to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. Already it signifies a shift away from the concept of funding directly reaching individual students according to needs.

The NSW Teachers’ Federation reports that NSW public schools will lose $846 million under the Turnbull government’s plan for school funding.

The Federation has developed a school-by-school comparison revealing how much each NSW school will lose in 2018 and 2019, if the Turnbull government reneges on the signed NSW Gonski agreement. This analysis compares data from the federal government’s School Funding Estimator website, and NSW government data obtained via a GIPA (formerly Freedom of Information) request that details the federal government’s funding obligations under the current funding agreement.

Even Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s electorate, New England, will get 70 percent less funding for its public schools in 2018 and 2019, with a staggering $26.38 million stripped from the area.

“This school-by-school data shows the reality behind the deceit of the Turnbull plan. Teachers, principals and parents can see how much funding and support their students will miss out on if the Turnbull government abandons the NSW Gonski agreement,” acting Federation president Gary Zadkovich said.

“The callousness of the Turnbull plan is evident in the scrapping of the pledge to provide additional Commonwealth funding for students with disability”.

North Strathfield Public School, where just last week the Prime Minister and Education Minister promoted their funding plan, will actually lose $513,300 over the next two years.

Next article – Lest we forget – There are no absolute freedoms

Back to index page

Go to What's On Go to Shop at CPA Go to Australian Marxist Review Go to Join the CPA Go to Subscribe to the Guardian Go to the CPA Maritime Branch website Go to the Resources section of our web site Go to the PDF of the Hot Earth booklet go to the World Federation of Trade Unions web site go to the Solidnet  web site Go to Find out more about the CPA