Victorian schools finally get needs-based funding
he Australian Education Union today welcomed the State Government’s announcement of additional needs-based funding for public schools as part of delivering the Education State.
AEU Victorian Branch President Meredith Peace said this morning’s announcement was a positive first step towards addressing the serious education funding gap holding back Victoria’s students.
Schools will welcome the reinvestment in public education after four years of neglect by the former Napthine government. They know what additional programs and support their students require and now we have the first instalment of the resources to deliver for those students most in need.
“Every Victorian public school student receives $1,836 less than the national average, and our students are the lowest funded in Australia,” Ms Peace said. To become the true Education State governments must commit to ongoing investment beyond 2017.
“The Victorian community has been campaigning for Gonski needs-based funding and today, for the first time in a decade, we will see a real funding injection to tackle inequality in our schools.
“The Andrews Government promised Victorians an Education State and this money will help children who need it most to get the support they need to succeed.”
Ms Peace said real change required both Federal and State governments working together to lift Victoria off the bottom of the education funding ladder.
“We hope this announcement will provide an incentive for the Abbott Government to review its broken promise to support the Gonski education funding agreement and provide the funding for years 5 and 6.
“The Baillieu-Napthine Government paid the ultimate price for their broken promise. We hope Mr Abbott understands the importance Victorians place on their education system.”
Last week the AEU launched “Education for Everyone’s Needs, its blueprint for public education in Victoria, which argued for needs-based funding to underpin investment in our schools.
“The AEU’s proposal for needs-based funding includes an adaptive curriculum supplemented by individual support for students, more training for teachers, principals and education support staff, investment in new buildings and technology, and a cap of 20 on class sizes.”
Ms Peace said schools would receive their indicative 2016 budgets on Wednesday, when for the first time there will be a line item dedicated to needs-based funding.
“Victorian schools have struggled to deliver the programs and support students need after the previous state government failed to allocate $800 million of needs-based Gonski funding that should have gone to schools.
“As of this week, principals will have tangible resources they can use to deliver more individual support as well as additional programs to tackle the needs of their students.”
“There are far too many students from low socio-economic backgrounds and from rural and regional Victoria who are falling behind other students, so it is extremely encouraging to see $566 million specifically dedicated to equity measures within our schools.”
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