A debate calling on the Federal Government to implement the key findings of the Gonski report dominated the final session of NSW ALP Conference.
The final report of the Review of Funding for Schooling – chaired by businessman David Gonski – determined that all school sectors required immediate additional funds.
More funding for public schools
Importantly, the review recommended a significant increase in funding for public education, due in part to the numbers and concentration of disadvantaged students attending government schools.
The Left’s Carmel Tebbutt and Verity Firth moved a motion calling for conference to “support the implementation of the key recommendations and proposed funding model of the final report” and for the Federal Government “to ensure that this is an immediate priority.”
Replacing the broken model
Ms Firth said that the old funding model – developed under the former Coalition Government of John Howard – was broken and overdue for reform.
“It led to the outrageous situation where wealthy, exclusive private schools received millions in government funding while our public schools struggled for resources,” Ms Firth said.
Time to embrace reform
Stephen Jones, Federal Member for Throsby, said it was past time for reform of school funding.
“Federal Labor should embrace Gonski’s modest recommendations as a priority,” Mr Jones said.
“It’s important that we send a positive signal to teachers – such a critical and crucial part of our party’s progressive base – that Labor is listening and finally acting to repair the school funding model,” he said.