On Public Education Day, 24 organisations representing millions of Australian parents, teachers and community members signed an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to fix the deep inequity in public school funding.
The Federal President of the Australian Education Union, Correna Haythorpe said the open letter was strong evidence of the support for proper funding for every child and every school.
“Together we stand to ensure that every child, regardless of their background or circumstance can access a high-quality education in their local public school,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“Public Education Day is an opportunity for Australians to celebrate the essential work carried out in our public education system.
“Each and every school day, hundreds of thousands of principals, teachers and education support staff gather in public schools to teach the overwhelming majority of Australian students. They do an incredible job.
“But they are working in increasingly difficult conditions created by the deep funding inequity in our education system.”
By 2023, only one per cent of public schools will be funded at the minimum Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). This means public schools will be deprived of much needed resources.
In addition, public schools are experiencing booming student enrolment growth and yet the Federal Government has not provided capital infrastructure funding to meet this growth.
“It is well within the power of the Federal Government to ensure every school has the resources required to teach every child,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“With properly funded public schools, the difference we could make in the lives of Australian children would be profound. We could provide new high-quality classrooms and well-resourced libraries, improved school facilities and equipment, more teachers and support staff, smaller class sizes and additional learning programmes.
“That’s why we are calling on the Prime Minister to ensure that all schools are operating at a minimum of 100 per cent of the SRS, remove the 20 per cent cap on the Commonwealth share of the SRS from the Australian Education Amendment Act, remove the four per cent capital depreciation tax from state and territory SRS amounts and establish a capital fund for public schools to help meet rising enrolment growth and infrastructure needs.
“Fixing the deep funding inequity would be the best way Prime Minister Scott Morrison could celebrate Public Education Day.”