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State Schools Ignored by Liberals

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Tags: Gonski, Education, COAG

That this House notes:

1.      The Australian Education Union’s 2016 State of our Schools report, which indicates that although more than two thirds of Tasmanian school principals believe Gonski school funding reforms have made a significance difference to the quality of education provided at their school, that over half still believe their school is under resourced or significantly under resourced;

2.      That the Coalition Federal government have only committed to funding the Gonski reforms to the end of 2016-17;

3.      The comments by Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that a Coalition government may cease to provide funding for State schools altogether;

4.      That should the responsibility for public school funding be handed to States and Territories, that, disappointingly, independent and Catholic schools will still be funded by the Federal government;

5.      That Tasmania has the highest proportion of disadvantaged students of any State in Australia;

6.      The further comments by Prime Minister Turnbull that “we need to live within our means”, showing a clear indication of the Coalition’s ignorance of the Tasmanian demographic as a reduction in needs-based funding would likely lead to low educational outcomes, low income occupations, and a cycle of never-ending socio-economic disadvantage for Tasmanians;

7.      That a reduction or cessation of Federal government funding would see the Hodgman Liberal government’s proposed reforms for the Tasmanian Education Act thrown into complete disarray;

8.      That the Hodgman Liberal government are clearly already struggling to deliver on their promises of better educational outcomes for Tasmanians and that lowering the school starting age for children will be a significant funding challenge for the State government without backing from their Federal counterparts;

9.      That Premier Will Hodgman’s recent attendance at COAG was an epic failure as he returned to the State, once again, with even less than what he started with, particularly in terms of health and education funding for the State; and

10. Further, that this House:

a.      Calls on Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff to strongly lobby his Federal counterpart to ensure Tasmania’s schools are funded adequately and that Tasmanian children are getting the very best education available;

b.      Calls on Premier Will Hodgman to strongly lobby his Federal counterpart to ensure no further funding is removed from Tasmanian State schools; and

c.      Calls on the Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff to conduct a review into funding of private and Catholic schools in Tasmania, should the Coalition be returned to government and federal funding ceased to be provided to our State schools.