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Byron Shire
June 18, 2021

Gonski supporters to rally outside Hogan’s office

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Teachers, parents and students will be calling for Gonski education funding outside Page MP Kevin Hogan's Lismore office today. (Photo contributed)
Teachers, parents and students will be calling for Gonski education funding outside Page MP Kevin Hogan’s Lismore office today. (Photo contributed)

Supporters of needs-based Gonski funding will protest outside the office of Kevin Hogan today over the lack of support for Gonski in this year’s Federal Budget.

They will be joined by a mobile billboard passing on the Gonski message ‘that we need the full six years of funding so our children can get the help they need at school.’

The protest at Mr Hogan’s office begins at 4.15pm, and will follow meetings with staff at Richmond River High School and Casino Public School earlier in the day.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that Malcolm Turnbull’s budget had ‘abandoned schools in regional Australia’ and would leave many ‘without the resources they needed to properly educate their students.’

‘Disadvantaged schools don’t need cuts to Gonski. They need the $4.5 billion in investment Labor and the Greens are promising, which will see all schools with the resources they need to educate their students,’ Ms Haythorpe said.

‘Regional schools in electorates like Page have high levels of need, with high numbers of Aboriginal students and students from poor households.

‘Malcolm Turnbull’s plan would see gaps in resources between schools grow and students miss out on support.

‘Labor’s figures show that schools in Page would be $24 million worse off in 2018 and 2019 if Malcolm Turnbull is allowed to cut Gonski funding.

‘Failing to fund Gonski is failing to give our children the help they need to succeed at school.

‘I will be joining concerned educators and parents today to show our support for Gonski funding, because we know these extra resources are working in our schools.

‘Schools all over NSW are using their increased resources to benefit students through greater one-to-one support, targeted literacy and numeracy programs and smaller classes.”

‘That’s a great start, but two-thirds of the extra Gonski funding is to be delivered in 2018 and 2019 – the years of Gonski that Malcolm Turnbull wants to stop.

‘He wants to return to a system which ignores student need and leaves thousands of children without the support they need to succeed at school.

‘Polling shows two-to-one support for Gonski, even among Coalition voters. This protest is a way for local educators, parents and supporters to show their support for needs-based Gonski funding.

‘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 1-in-7 15 year-olds struggles to read properly, and 1-in-5 struggles with basic maths.

‘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.

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