Federal Member for Hunter and Joel Fitzgibbon joined forces with Member for Blaxland Jason Clare, Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment, Resources and Northern Australia in Singleton on Tuesday to highlight the importance of Gonski education funding both in the Hunter and across the country.
Fitzgibbon and Clare supported the I Give a Gonski campaign at a community barbecue held at Singleton High School and King Street Public alongside NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron, principals, teachers, students and community members. The event was held in conjunction with the arrival of the National Gonski bus in the Upper Hunter.
Two Gonski buses were launched in Adelaide and Brisbane last month which are touring Australia to spread the message to communities about the great results Gonski funding is delivering for students and why the full six years of Gonski funding is needed to ensure all schools have the resources they need. The Gonski bus tour will conclude at Parliament House in Canberra on 22 March.
The Liberals and the Nationals are cutting $30 billion from schools. That’s equivalent to sacking one in seven teachers.
Hunter schools are amongst the biggest losers from the Gonski cuts imposed by Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition Government, with the electorate set to miss out on $31 million of funding in 2017/18 alone.
The cuts equate to fewer teachers, less one-on-one attention and students left behind. They’ll mean students will get less help with the basics like reading, writing, maths, science and computer skills.
“Labor believes education is critical to ensuring Australia has a strong economy with secure jobs. We also believe getting a good education is the ticket to a lifetime of opportunity,” Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.
NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said ‘Gonski needs-based funding was turning students’ lives around, but Malcolm Turnbull was ignoring the evidence of its success.”
Meanwhile NSW Teacher’s Federation regional coordinator Mr Jack Galvin Waight believes the loss of resources will be a disaster for schools in the Hunter electorate, and will mean they will be unable to build on the success already achieved with ensuring every student who needs support, can get it.
“We know Gonski funding is working and schools across the Hunter are using it to benefit students through greater one-to-one support, targeted literacy and numeracy programs and smaller classes,” Mr Galvin Waight said.
“The quality of your education shouldn’t be determined by where you live or what your parents can afford. Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to schools threatens the future of local kids – it shows again how out of touch he is. He’d rather give big banks and other corporates a tax cut than invest in better schools for all Australian kids,” Jason Clare said.
Mr Clare and Fitzgibbon encourage anyone concerned about the Turnbull Government’s cuts to Gonski education funding to sign the online petition at www.cutshurtschools.org.