A number of teachers and even school principals from schools across the electorate of Page will be lining up outside the office of federal Nationals MP Kevin Hogan today in an effort to persuade him of the area’s need for a fully funded Gonski program.
Supporters of the needs-based Gonski funding say that their schools need the full six years of Gonski funding.
The Gonski supporters will also hand over their ‘Gonski Stories’ demonstrating that increased resources from the program are leading to improved results for students.
NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said it was time for Mr Hogan to ‘stand up for local schools’.
‘Needs-based Gonski funding is making a difference to schools but Mr Turnbull is trying to abandon it and fail students in Page,’ Mr Mulheron said.
‘We need more investment in schools not less. Gonski funding is designed to bring all schools across Australia up to a resources standard by 2019, so that all schools have the capacity to properly educate all students regardless of their circumstances or where they live,’ she added.
‘But Mr Turnbull wants to stop Gonski after just four years, which will mean that local schools would miss out on more than half the extra funding they need.
‘On top of that he is talking about removing all federal government funding from public schools, a disastrous idea which would see thousands of students miss out.
‘Schools in Page are using their increased resources to benefit students through greater one-on-one support, targeted literacy and numeracy teaching for students who are struggling, and more support staff such as speech therapists and in-class aides.
‘Educators and parents are deeply concerned about the impact of the loss of the last two years of Gonski funding and the effect on local schools.
‘Why would you stop funding that is already making a difference?’
‘Mr Turnbull says we can’t afford extra resources for our schools. He forgets that Gonski funding is an investment in our students, which will benefit society in years to come.
‘We know that one-in-seven 15 year-olds struggles to read properly, and one-in-five struggles with basic maths.
‘We also know that disadvantaged students are five times more likely to be poor performers than students from wealthy backgrounds.
‘It is not in our long-term social or economic interest to let these children leave school without the skills to get a job or lead a successful life.
‘We hope that Mr Hogan gets the message that Gonski is working and is able to stand up for schools in his electorate. Malcolm Turnbull needs to know how important this funding is for the future of our students,’ Ms Mulheron said.