The public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, today slammed the decision of the Labor Government to delay the introduction of the next National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) until 2025. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that it is an act of betrayal of under-funded public schools and disadvantaged students.
“This is Labor perfidy at its worst. Labor is denying full funding of public schools indefinitely.
“The Minister for Education, Jason Clare, says that public schools are on a path to being fully funded. The truth is they are on a path to never-never land. Public schools are on the path of indefinite under-funding.
“Labor was silent during the election campaign about the future funding of public schools. Now we know why. It has no commitment to ensuring public schools are fully funded.
“Public schools across Australian are currently funded on average at 87.1% of their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). Under the current NSRA they will be still funded at less than 91% of their SRS by 2029. This is costing public schools about $6 billion a year in funding.
“By contrast, private schools are currently funded on average at 104.3% of their SRS. They will be over-funded for the rest of the decade under the current arrangements.
“The latest NAPLAN results show shocking inequities. For example, 29% of low SES Year 9 students were below the reading standard, 38% were below the writing standard and 16% were below the numeracy standard.
“The results are even worse for Indigenous students – 33% of Year 9 Indigenous students were below the reading standard, 44% were below the writing standard and 19% were below the numeracy standard.
“By contrast, only 3% of Year 9 high SES students did not achieve the reading standard, 7% did not achieve the writing standard and 2% did not achieve the numeracy standard.
“These inequalities are totally unacceptable. They have continued for far too long and the Minister’s announcement will ensure they continue. “The inquiry announced by the Minister is a delaying tactic to shield the Government from pressure to increase funding for public schools and disadvantaged students. There is already an ongoing inquiry on the NSRA by the Productivity Commission that is due to report by the end of the month. Why do we need another inquiry?