Northern NSW-based Nationals MLC Ben Franklin has announced an increase in needs-based funding for three high schools in the Ballina electorate but parents are still questioning the government’s commitment to the so-called Gonski reforms.
Mr Franklin said that in 2016 Byron Bay High School will receive $412,100 (an increase of $103,618), Ballina High School will receive $942,314 (an increase of $157,303 on 2015) and Mullumbimby High School will receive $437,492, which is an increase of $91,006 on 2015.
‘This needs-based funding can be used in a variety of ways, including employing speech pathologists or specialist teachers to target learning areas,’ Mr Franklin said.
The announcement coincides with Gonski Week, during which many teachers and parents say the funding model and review headed by the respected businessman David Gonski is still at risk of being dropped by new federal education minister Simon Birmingham.
Mullum High P&C president Neville Newell said, ‘Many schools/parent groups/P&Cs across the state will be hosting activities to again highlight the lack of commitment.’
P&C vice-president, Terry Timms, added Tony Abbott broke his promise to deliver the funding after being elected.
According to the website GiveaGonski, ‘Gonski funding is designed to ensure that every Australian child, no matter what their background, can get a high quality education.’ Among its aims is to reduce class sizes and employ more specialist teachers.