24 March 2014

The full impact of Tony Abbott's broken election promise on school education funding was revealed today with the release of new school-by-school funding data.

With the April 5 Senate election fast approaching, Federal Shadow Education Minister Kate Ellis released the figures today, showing the stark difference between what Tony Abbott promised before the 2013 election and the harsh cuts that schools are currently facing.

"When it comes to education cuts, Tony Abbott and Colin Barnett are on a unity ticket," Ms Ellis said.

"Prior to the election, Tony Abbott promised that no school would be worse off under his Government.

"But we now know that Tony Abbott changed the rules, meaning state governments can cut school funding, just like Colin Barnett has done.

"On average, each school in WA should be $400,000 better off a year under the Gonski Better School reforms. Instead, this year, WA schools are on average $135,000 worse off.

"This April 5 election gives WA a chance to send a message to Tony Abbott and Colin Barnett that you don't support their cuts to education."

State Shadow Education Minister Sue Ellery explained that schools across Western Australia are suffering after Colin Barnett cut $183 million from the state's schools.

"Colin Barnett's cuts are hurting local schools," Ms Ellery said. 

"Some 700 teachers and education assistants have been pulled out of WA schools and the Barnett Government has cut 30% of all support school programs for children with learning difficulties and literacy and numeracy programs.

"These cuts would have never have been allowed under the Gonski school reforms."

The new figures released today show how much funding each state school in WA has lost under Colin Barnett's cuts. This cut is then compared to the average estimated increase each school would have received under the Gonski Better School reforms.

For example, WA's largest school, Willetton Senior High School, should be receiving on average $3.6 million more a year under the Gonski Better School reforms. Instead, Willetton is facing a $669,000 funding cut this year.

Meanwhile, the budget at Joondalup Primary School has been cut by $203,000 this year. But, under the Gonski Better School reforms, Joondalup should be receiving $316,000 more funding a year on average.