On the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), Labor has again demanded the Abbott Government keep their pre-election promise to implement the Gonski loading to support students with disability.
Before the election, the Abbott Government promised:
"more funding for people with disability through the 'disability loading' in 2015" (Christopher Pyne, 23 August 2013)
The Prime Minister reaffirmed this commitment in the Parliament on the IDPwD last year:
"On schools, those loadings will be fully delivered" (Tony Abbott, 3 December 2013)
However, the Government has since cut the $100 million per year More Support for Students with Disabilities program, will not implement the Gonski disability loading from 2015, and has not allocated the promised additional funding.
“Tony Abbott has failed to honour his commitment to students with disabilities, and their parents, teachers and carers,” Shadow Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, said.
“Too many students with disability are still missing out on the opportunities at school that other Australians take for granted.”
The Abbott Government has been absolutely shameless in trying to get away without honouring their promises to students with disabilities: recently claiming in a response to the Senate Select Committee on School Funding’s report that “The Government has met its election commitment”.
“It’s heartless and extremely insulting for Tony Abbott and his Government not only to have broken their promise, but to pretend they have kept their word,” Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis, said.
“Students with disability deserve the support they need to participate in their school community and achieve their best.”
The loading for students with disability is a central part of the Gonski reforms, and was due to be implemented from 2015 following work by the states and the Commonwealth to collect data and develop a consistent national approach, so every student in every school could receive support that meets their needs.
WEDNESDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2014