22 May 2014

In a speech at the University of Melbourne last night, David Gonski delivered a stinging rebuke of Tony Abbott's cuts to school funding, and called for them to be reversed.

He warned that abandoning the Gonski school funding model - which Labor implemented - would entrench inequality and see Australia continue to slip in international rankings.

"Governments need to embrace the importance of school education to individuals and to the productivity of our society. There needs to be a commitment to a properly funded  needs based aspirational system, and a failure to do so will be to our detriment."
David Gonski, 21 May 2014

Mr Gonski savaged the Commission of Audit's retrograde and ignorant recommendations on school funding, and attacked Tony Abbott's hands-off approach, saying it is crucial the Commonwealth and the states work together to properly fund our schools.

He said that by failing to follow through on the Gonski reforms, Tony Abbott would put a stop to aspiration in education.

"Before the election, Tony Abbott promised there would be 'no cuts to education', and he promised to honour the Gonski agreements with the states," Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis said today.

"Instead, the Budget made the biggest ever cut to schools - a mammoth $30 billion will be taken out of our classrooms.

"By trashing the Gonski agreements, Tony Abbott has let the states off the hook to make cuts now - and our teachers and students will be worse off as a result.

"Without the full funding and the proper implementation of the model, resources will simply never reach those who need support the most.

"The Gonski review was the biggest review of school funding in 40 years. We know the problems, but we also know the solutions.

"David Gonski could not have been clearer - Tony Abbott must reverse these budget decisions if every student in every school is going to get a great education.

"Tony Abbott lied to parents, students and teachers before the election when he said he was committed to the Gonski funding reforms.

"Tony Abbott needs listen to the experts and reverse these cuts. Our kids deserve the very best start in life, not broken promises from a Prime Minister who can't be trusted."