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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, has backed the national For Every Child campaign by the Australian Education Union to secure the full funding of public schools by 2028. The funding would allow public schools to reduce class sizes, increase one-on-one support for students and provide more assistance for teachers in the classroom.

“In 2011, the Gonski reforms set up the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), an amount all governments have agreed is the minimum required to meet the needs of all students,” Mr Wilkie said. “But despite this, in 2023, almost all public schools across the country are still funded below this level.

“Under current agreements between the State and Federal Governments, Tasmania’s public schools will never be fully funded. This beggars belief. Why set an agreed minimum standard and then consistently refuse to meet it?

“I requested the Parliamentary Budget Office investigate one option to address this, by lifting the Commonwealth Government’s share of funding for public schools. This showed that an average annual investment of $32.8 million is all that is required to lift the Commonwealth’s share of funding for public Tasmanian schools from 20 to 25 per cent of the SRS by 2028. The State Government is expected to lift its share to 75 per cent over the same period.

“While this would be a modest investment, it would go a long way towards ensuing each and every child has what they need to succeed in school and that teachers have the resources they need.”