News Column

Pyne Shows His True Colours by Trivialising Needs-Based Schools Funding

September 4, 2014



VICTORIA, Australia, Sept. 4 -- The Australian Education Union issued the following news release:

The AEU has condemned Education Minister Christopher Pyne's trivialisation of needs-based schools funding in Parliament today.

AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said the sight of Mr Pyne waving a defaced "I give a Gonski" placard showed his contempt for needs-based schools funding and equity in education.

"To see Mr Pyne mockingly waving an "I give a Gonski" placard in Parliament today, was an insult to the hundreds of thousands of students right across Australia in schools which will be denied resources they need and deserve as a result of his abandonment of Gonski funding," Mr Gavrielatos said.

"He showed his true colours by standing up in Parliament and effectively laughing at the prospect of these schools being stripped of funding under the Abbott Government's budget cuts.

"He showed his contempt for the teachers, students and parents who believe in needs-based schools funding and understand its importance.

"The Abbott Government has never believed in equitable, needs-based funding for schools.

"It rejected the principles of the Gonski Review of education funding within twenty minutes of its release. It lied about being on a "unity ticket" on Gonski funding while in Opposition and has worked to dismantle and undermine needs-based funding since it was elected.

"Abandoning the last two years of Gonski funding agreements will see schools lose two-thirds of the extra funding to be delivered under the full agreements and will mean some schools will not reach minimum resource standards.

"On top of this the Abbott Government has broken a promise to increase the 'disability loading' from 2015, and will in fact strip out $100 million from disability education from next year.

"To see Minister Pyne trivialise the issue of schools funding in an attempt to justify his agenda of budget cuts and higher fees for universities was a disgrace.

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