Port Macquarie ramps up Gonski support with rally

Teachers are rallying for a continuation and increase in Gonski funding.
Teachers are rallying for a continuation and increase in Gonski funding.

A rally supporting Gonski funding will be held in Port Macquarie this afternoon (March 15)

The rally will be used to ramp up support from teachers and parents for the needs-based model.

NSW Teachers’ Federation regional organiser Ian Watson said the State government had recognised the vital contribution education made to the community and had committed to lifting education funding in line with the Gonski model.

But he questioned the attitude of the Federal government. “Why isn’t the Federal Coalition supporting Gonski needs-based funding,” he said?

Local Federal Nationals MP’s Luke Hartsuyker (Cowper) and David Gillespie (Lyne) represent electorates which are receiving some of the largest shares of Gonski education funding.[1]

“Mr Hartsuyker met with a local delegation just yesterday, yet these same MPs support the Turnbull Government’s plan to rip billions of dollars out of the education budget,” NSW Teachers Federation regional organiser, Ian Watson said.

“That will cut funding to schools in their own electorates and cut funding to needy kids in schools across Australia.”

These are the key messages teachers, principals and parents are delivering to rural and regional Australia during a national Gonski campaign bus tour that began on March 1 and will eventually finish with a protest event outside Parliament House, Canberra, March 22.

“Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce want to get rid of Gonski needs-based funding after 2017 which would cut $3.8 billion in extra funding from our schools.”

“Gonski funding is providing targeted literacy and numeracy help for kids who are falling behind, there is greater one-to-one support in the classroom and some schools have used the extra funding to reduce class sizes.

“We need Malcolm Turnbull to abandon his education funding cuts and deliver on the final two years of Gonski funding which is designed to bring all schools up to a minimum educational resource standard.

“Malcolm Turnbull should go to April’s COAG meeting with a plan to invest in the future of Australian education instead of funding a $50 billion tax cut for big business.”

Mr Watson said that by the end of 2017, NSW schools will have received only 36 per cent of Gonski funding, with the remainder due to be delivered in the final two transition years, 2018-2019.

The rally is on Wednesday, March 15 at the Short Street end of Town Green from 4pm.