Over the last two weeks Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne have attempted gymnastics moves worthy of the Olympic Games on education funding.
First, before the election, Christopher Pyne and the Liberals described the Gonski reforms as a 'Conski.' When they realised that voters actually wanted Better Schools for their children, Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne pledged to sign up to Gonski and match Labor's plan dollar for dollar for every school.
Then, last week the Liberal government went back on its first election promise; abandoning Labor’s Better School plan. There was such a community backlash that even Andrew Bolt criticised the government's decision to cut school funding.
Yet despite this, the Liberals are still cutting the Better Schools Plan with Christopher Pyne explicitly saying that cuts would only be faced by public schools. Read more here.
The Liberals say that the funding will be the same but that's far from the truth.
Here are the facts:
- Labor’s Gonski reforms would have delivered $14.65 billion in additional funding for schools over 6 years, but Tony Abbott will now commit to only a fraction of the funding over just 4 years.
- States will no longer be required to make funding co-contributions of $1 for every $2 dollars of federal money, or index their funding by 3 per cent.
- Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne plan to amend Labor’s legislation so they can give ALL States ‘no strings’ funding deals – walking away from the needs-based loadings the Gonski report said were crucial to us closing the education equity gap, and walking away from funding being linked to improved teacher standards, student outcomes and increased transparency and accountability.
Bill Shorten has summed up the situation of the Abbott Government: "They said they were going to be a government of no surprises and no excuses but have turned out being a government of nasty surprises and pathetic excuses."