Budget: Schools miss out on Gonski

NSW Secondary Principals' Council president and Merrylands High School principal Lila Mularczyk is disappointed though not surprised at the education measures announced in today's federal budget. Picture: Gene Ramirez

NSW Secondary Principals' Council president and Merrylands High School principal Lila Mularczyk is disappointed though not surprised at the education measures announced in today's federal budget. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Education federal budget measures have been met with frustration by the state's principals.

They include a failure to fund Gonski reforms for the six years the previous government committed to and complete deregulation of university fees.

NSW Secondary Principals’ Council president Lila Mularczyk said the budget measures attack students most in need.

‘‘This budget is not acceptable or decent,’’ she said.

‘‘Our young people in schools, their families and our nation deserve and need the opportunity to achieve their potential [and] the students who will be let down by the system are those who need the most help.

“Our school communities will work tirelessly to transform and reverse the funding as outlined in the budget to ensure support of indigenous students, students in remote geographic locations and those from disadvantaged families and low SES communities into improved educational outcomes.

‘‘This appalling decision to renege on pre-election promises is something that all students and members of the education community, including parents, teachers and principals, will remember for a long time to come.’’

The federal government has again refused to commit to Gonski school funding over six years. The Labor introduced commitment will be abandoned from 2017-18, and school funding indexed to inflation from 2018.

Ms Mularczyk said the Gonski reform package would ensure that students with known educational disadvantages will receive the support they need and deserve.

She said pressure must be maintained on the political sphere to ensure students benefit from the reforms over the full six years. 

“The abandonment of Gonski in the last two years ensures 20 per cent of schools will not meet minimum resource standards,’’ she said.

‘‘This is a problem of the Coalitions’ own making, unlike the students whose life opportunities will be compromised by this short-sighted decision.’’

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