More Liberal excuses on education
- Minister for School Education
- Minister for Early Childhood and Youth
Today we’ve seen a brazen display of excuse-making and fact fudging from Liberal State Governments who are desperately trying to justify their outrageous cuts to education budgets.
The Gillard Government has a National Plan for School Improvement because we know we need to do more as a country to lift our education performance and keep our economy strong.
We are determined to push forward with our plan but states and territories have to play their part – not make excuses for slashing school funding.
CLAIM: The NSW Premier and Education Minister have repeatedly tried to blame falling GST revenues for their decision to take the razor to education funding.
FACT: The NSW share of the GST pool will continue to rise every year over the next four years. This is made clear on page 126 of Budget Paper 3.
CLAIM: Premier Barry O’Farrell has claimed today that schools don’t need more money to improve their results.
FACT: This is the exact opposite of the NSW Government’s submission to the Gonski school funding review in March last year, where it argued: “Greater investment is required to make Australia’s system of education internationally competitive.”
CLAIM: Australia has increased its spending on schools by more than 40 per cent over the past decade.
FACT: Spending on education has risen because overall government spending increases as costs rise every year. Our spend on education as a total share of the GDP has remained flat since 2001 and is currently still lower than the OECD average, once the one-off spend on the BER is removed.
CLAIM: Government funding for education has not been targeted at programs that work.
FACT: The Gillard Government’s record investment in schools has been squarely targeted at things that get results. We’ve invested $550 million in improving teacher quality. Under our Literacy and Numeracy national partnerships schools taking part have seen up to 80 per cent of the targeted students improve their results.
Under our National Plan for School Improvement we want to see every school put a school improvement plan in place, introduce higher standards for teachers, and give more power to school principals.
We want every school to be fairly funded based on the needs of every student, in every classroom.
These things will take time, and they will need a greater investment from all governments. But we are determined to do it.
Liberal State Governments need to stop making excuses. They need to put students and schools first.