Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1515 ..
booming enrolment growth, yet this Budget fails to deliver the capital works funding that provides modern, 21st century classrooms and facilities … As a result, public school staff are denied the resources they need to provide the education and support their students deserve.
Private schools are benefiting from long-term prioritisation of government funding while the federal government continues to ignore calls from the education sector for equitable funding. This budget sees the federal government hand out just over $5 billion a year for the next four years, to a total of $20 billion over the forward estimates.
Coincidentally, a 2020 report by Adam Rorris, a former economic adviser to the World Bank and the federal government, found that $19 billion is the exact funding shortfall between current funding and the minimum funding levels required under the recommendations from the Gonski review. This means that they subsidise private education. The federal government is forgoing the opportunity to properly fund our public schools.
We know that our teachers are working harder than ever to keep up with increases in class sizes and ever-growing expectations for what they must deliver. As the ACT Greens spokesperson for education, I will always support calls for proper funding of our public school system and support for our teachers. Every school should be provided with the resources to ensure that every child gets the best education, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Again, the federal government has failed to deliver on any vision for long-term sustained investment into our TAFEs to restore vocational education, which has suffered from ongoing cuts year after year and has, like the university sector, been struggling from the loss of international students. The JobTrainer package has given our CIT a small boost, but this style of funding brings with it huge boosts to the pockets of for-profit vocational providers who seek to make money from our education system.
This budget cuts funding to universities by 10 per cent at a time when our university sector is crying out for help as it tries to respond to the ongoing financial burden of losing international students. We are already seeing the result of the so-called job-ready graduates reforms. The federal government is cutting funding at exactly the time it should be investing in our universities to ensure equal opportunity for all Australians and to support research to bolster our growing knowledge economy.
We know that education is a fundamental driver for ensuring a strong economy and improving the lives of the most vulnerable. This week it has been made clear that the federal government lacks a clear and systemic vision in the education portfolio. I am proud to be part of a party and a government that will always choose to support our teachers and our public education system.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.45): Today I rise to provide an update on my Florey shops project. Earlier this year, I met with several locals at the Florey shops to talk