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New chapter in Rudd's narrative needed: revolution in public school funding.



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Wednesday 27th August 2008

New Chapter in Rudd’s Narrative Needed: Revolution in Public School Funding

The Australian Greens have urged the Rudd Government to insert a new chapter in Australian education by committing to an injection of fair funding to public schools and a new formula for schools funding in Australia.

“Kevin Rudd has been keen today to tell his story - but the story Australians want to hear is a vision of how Australia will educate its people in the 21st Century,” Greens Education spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne said.

“That means ditching the Howard ideology and instead inviting Australians to collaborate in thinking about new ways to deliver education so that Australia of the future will be healthy, happy and able to meet the challenges and opportunities posed by the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

“Today’s report from the Australian Education Union showing that funding of public schools will fall by almost two per cent over the next four years while non-government schools will be granted a three per cent increase, is completely unacceptable.”

“The invisible hand of John Howard is still directing education policy in Australia.”

Senator Milne said she was alarmed by the revelations in the AEU report that the share of public school funding of Commonwealth recurrent education funding fell from 43 per cent in 1996 to 35 per cent in 2007, and that this was set to further decline to 33.8 per cent over the next four years.

“Australia’s working families cannot wait until 2011/12 for their children to get a fair go in public schools.”

“What is needed now is an extra $1.5 billion and with the larger than anticipated surplus there are no excuses.”

Senator Milne said Commonwealth funding of public schools was a dog’s breakfast and the Prime Minister and Education Minister Julia Gillard needed to act now and not defer a new model for a further four years.

“The only way we can achieve the education revolution towards a better educated and more innovative Australia is for our public schools to be properly funded and staffed.”

For more information phone Russell Kelly 0438376082 ends

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Ebony Bennett Media Advisor Senator Bob Brown | Leader of the Australian Greens e: ebony.bennett@aph.gov.au m: 0409 164 603 | p: (02) 6277 3170 | f: (02) 6277 3185 w: www.bobbrown.org.au