TASMANIAN SCHOOLS THE VICTIMS OF A DOUBLE BETRAYAL BY ABBOTT AND HODGMAN

THURSDAY, 21 AUGUST 2014

In a week where Tasmania’s school results are in sharp focus, the Abbott-Hodgman betrayal on the Gonski school funding reforms is back in the spotlight.

 

Despite promising a unity ticket with Labor on school funding before the election, Tony Abbott’s Budget failed to fund the vital fifth and sixth years of the Gonski reforms and instead ripped $80 billion from our schools and hospitals.  

 

Tasmanian schools will lose $682 million, the biggest ever cut to our schools. Every school will suffer and be dragged backwards at a time when parents, teachers and students were promised improvements.

 

These savage cuts will leave the average school $3.2 million worse off, and rob every student of $1,000 in individual support per year.

 

“This represents a double betrayal of Tasmanians, who were assured by Tony Abbott that there would be no cuts to education and by Will Hodgman who signed a pledge to defend the Gonski reforms,” Kate Ellis said.

 

“Instead we will see a decline in both the funding and the quality of education offered to young Tasmanians.”

 

Kate Ellis said she was frustrated by the debate in Tasmania about school improvement this week.

 

“We’ve had the biggest review of our schools in 40 years, we know what needs to be done to lift results, and there is consensus about the importance of the Gonski reforms.

 

“The solution is already on the table – Tony Abbott and Will Hodgman just need to do what they said they would, and invest in critically needed school reform.

 

“If Tasmanian students are to achieve in line with national standards, Tony Abbott and Will Hodgman need to keep their promises.”

 

“We are setting our teachers and students an impossible task if we ask them to improve results without the resources they need to do that,” Julie Collins said.

 

“These cuts are the equivalent of sacking one in seven teachers – and they are having a big impact in our classrooms right now.

 

“Principals can’t employ teachers, or start literacy and numeracy programs, with the biggest ever cuts to schools hanging over their heads.”

 

Kate Ellis and Julie Collins said it was not too late for these cuts to be reversed, if Tasmanian Liberals did the right thing and stood up for local students.

 

“It’s time Will Hodgman and other Tasmanian Liberals stopped running away from this and put our schools before their political mate Tony Abbott,” Kate Ellis said.

 

The Federal Budget has set school funding indexation at CPI from 2018. With the ABS Education Price Index currently 5.1 per cent, this is a real and compounding cut.

 

Schools funding cuts in Tasmania by Federal Electorate:

 

Bass

$154m

Braddon

$142m

Denison

$179m

Lyons

$91m

Franklin

$117m

 

Source: Based on 2012 student enrolments provided by the Department of Education and published by the Parliamentary Library.