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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, made a speech to the Parliament urging the Federal Government to listen to the calls of teachers and the Australian Education Union and fully fund public schools by 2028. Please see above video for full speech.

“Education is critical to the future success of every child, and of Australian society more broadly,” Mr Wilkie said. “But this future is under threat, with school quality and student outcomes continuing to decline, and wealth-based inequality and segregation in our education system only getting worse.

“In 2011 the Gonski reforms sought to address deficiencies in the education system by establishing the Schooling Resource Standard, or SRS. This set a funding level all governments have agreed is the minimum required to meet the needs of every student. But, despite this, in 2023, almost all public schools across the country are still funded below their SRS; the effect of which was made clear to me when I met with school principals last week who shared alarming stories of the impacts of this underfunding on children and school staff in public schools across the country.

“At my request the Parliamentary Budget Office investigated one option to address this underfunding, by lifting the Commonwealth Government’s share of funding for public schools to 25 per cent of the SRS by 2028. Their report shows that the total cost to 2028 would be $9.18 billion, or about $1.8 billion a year. “Staff and teachers at public schools are doing an amazing job to delivery high quality education, but without full funding this workload is unsustainable and many teachers are leaving the profession. Closing the resource gap by providing full funding for public schools would go a long way towards addressing the inequality in our school system and ensuring that every child has what they need to succeed.”