Prospects gloomy for school funding

Funding goneski!: Members of the Fairfield Teachers Association, teachers and students have called on the federal government to honour its promise and fund the full six years of the Gonski school funding reforms. Picture: Anna Warr

Funding goneski!: Members of the Fairfield Teachers Association, teachers and students have called on the federal government to honour its promise and fund the full six years of the Gonski school funding reforms. Picture: Anna Warr

NEARLY $50 million will be stripped from 30 of our local schools if the federal government refuses to commit to the last two years of the Gonski school funding agreement, according to the Fairfield Teachers Association.

The association claimed to have documents, ahead of last night's budget, proving that school's in south-west Sydney would lose out in much-needed funds.

It also claimed that Prime Minister Tony Abbott had promised before being elected to adhere to the then Gillard government's commitment to 65 per cent of the Gonski school funding over six years.

But after taking power, Mr Abbott revealed his government would commit only to the first four years.

At time of press, yesterday afternoon, a spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne refused to comment before the release of the budget.

The Fairfield Teachers Association says Mr Abbot's broken promise has left 17 schools in the McMahon electorate losing more than $31 million in funding, eight schools in the Fowler electorate missing out on more than $13 million and five schools in the Blaxland electorate losing nearly $22 million in funding.

The association's president Glenn Hokin said he expected last night's budget to reveal another broken promise to the public education community of Fairfield.

"Prime Minister Abbott and the Coalition have failed to commit to the full six years of the Gonski schools funding agreement, despite their pre-election pledge to do so," he said.

"This fails to ensure that all schools be brought up to a minimum resource standard and to adequately resource public school students in Fairfield."

He said the Gonski reforms recognised funding for students and schools based on need, with the majority of the extra funding being delivered during the fifth and sixth years of the agreement.

"Tony Abbott and the Coalition's failure to honour this in the budget announced last night would mean that schools won't have the resources to effectively support our students in Fairfield," Mr Hokin said.

Fowler MP Chris Hayes agreed and said it was a broken promise by the government.

"This is something we had a bi-partnership in but that has been scrapped," he said.

"Tony Abbott stated before the election that there will be: 'No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no GP tax'.

"He is willing to break each one of these promises. He does not deserve the trust of the Australian people."

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