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Education is opportunity: more funding sooner for our schools

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Printed and authorised by Senator Christine Milne, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600. Page 1 of 1

A caring society ensures every child has a right to receive a high quality education - regardless of where they go to school or how much money their family has. The Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling found that Australia’s educational performance has declined by international standards over the past decade. It found that years of underinvestment in public education has led to deep inequalities in Australia’s school systems.

The Greens have a vision for the future - one where every child has a chance at success. Whether it’s going to university or TAFE, or taking on a trade - we need an education system that gives every child this opportunity. That’s why the Greens support the new needs-based school funding system.

> QUALITY EDUCATION FOR EVERYONE We know that without proper investment in education, the gap between rich and poor will keep getting wider. The Greens are committed to a fairer school funding model that makes high quality education a reality for all Australian kids - regardless of where they live, their family’s income or the school they attend.

While Labor is underinvesting and the Coalition wants to cut education funding, the Greens are standing up for all Australian children to secure a world class education. We will:

 Properly fund schools, over and above what the current government is prepared to commit. In each of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years the government is committing less than $500 million to implement its funding reforms. Australian students and public schools need more, faster.

 Commit an extra $2 billion over the forward estimates on top of the government's $3 billion to help bring public schools up to the Schooling Resource Standard sooner. This would double the funding from the government in the next two years.

 Direct the additional funding to where it is needed most, including better assistance for kids with a disability.

When it comes to education, money does matter. The Gonski Review recommended that we spend at least $6.5 billion more on education each year. Currently, Australia is lagging far behind nations like Finland, Canada and Korea whose students receive a world class education.

Our education system is in desperate need of a funding boost if we are serious about investing in young Australians.

> A VISION FOR AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE The Greens know that excellent schooling fosters the development of creative, informed and resilient citizens who are able to participate fully in a dynamic and globalised world. High quality education also has broader social benefits, including higher levels of employment and earnings, better health, longevity, tolerance and social cohesion. The Greens will continue to advocate passionately for public schools. We know that two thirds of Australia’s students attend government schools - including a high proportion of students who require extra support, like students with disabilities and special needs, Indigenous students and those from low income families. More money for schools means more teachers and support staff, better technology, equipment and facilities. >STANDING UP FOR WHAT MATTERS The Greens are not afraid to stand up to the wealthy mining companies and fix the mining tax in order to raise revenue to properly fund fairer needs-based school funding reforms. The government's funding reforms so far have disappointed parents of children with a disability. At the moment, assistance for disabilities varies across Australia. Harmonising and increasing students’ eligibility for disability assistance is crucial. The Greens’ extra funding for education reform would provide a boost towards fixing disability support and for disability loadings to be consistently applied, according to need, regardless of where students live.

EDUCATION IS OPPORTUNITY More funding sooner for our schools The Greens’ plan for securing a brighter future for Australian kids

Right now, our government schools are chronically underfunded putting pressure on teachers, students and parents. The Greens know that education is opportunity and believe that every Australian child deserves a world-class education.