Teachers and parents in the ACT electorate of Fraser have urged Labor backbencher Andrew Leigh to support the Gonski Review recommendations that would deliver, on average, an additional $1500 a year per public school student.
“Mr. Leigh needs to know that denying our children the resources they need is unacceptable,” says Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos.
The call is part of the national I Give a Gonski Campaign to overhaul school funding. More than 25,000 people have registered support at igiveagonski.com.au. Parents and teachers will get together during morning teas across the country on July 24th to urge politicians to act on the Gonski recommendations on education.
Established by the Federal Government, the review of school funding, headed by David Gonski, found Australia is investing too little in education and recommended an urgent overhaul of the way schools are funded. Gonski recommends a $5 billion annual increase in school funding, with $3.8 billion to go to public schools.
For an average-sized, local public school with 300 students, the Gonski recommendations are equivalent to $450,000 annual funding to lower class sizes, employ specialist teachers in areas such as literacy and numeracy and provide extra support for students with higher needs.
“The Gonski Review makes clear the cost of inaction,” says Gavrielatos.
“The failure to deliver adequate resources to schools is holding Australian children back and making it harder for them to get the skills and knowledge they need for secure, well-paid jobs.
“But so far there is no commitment to deliver the additional funding Gonski warns is urgently needed.”