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National Curriculum needs equal and adequate funding.



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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

media release

Canberra, Wednesday 3 December 2008

National Curriculum needs equal and adequate funding

A national uniform curriculum will fail to deliver more uniform educational outcomes unless it is backed up with equal and adequate funding, the Australian Greens said today.

“Kevin Rudd's Education Revolution needs to be about much more than a stoush over private school funding and a national curriculum,” said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Education Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne.

"The Greens support the development and implementation of a national curriculum, and support its inclusion as a condition of funding for non-government schools.

"However, the fact remains that, to deliver a national curriculum that gives every child the opportunity to achieve their full potential, all our schools will require equal and adequate funding.

"A national uniform curriculum will not of itself deliver national uniform educational outcomes without the money to back it up.

"It is grossly unfair that the Government is prepared to guarantee funding to non-government schools for the next four years while public schools have no such guarantee and are left to the vagaries of State budgets.

"Whilst non-government schools will have the certainty to plan for four years, with their $2.7 billion in over-payments locked in, public schools will have to wait and see each year how State Government coffers are affected by the global financial meltdown, reduced GST revenue

and reduced resource royalties.

"I am extremely disappointed that the Government, Coalition, Family First and Nick Xenophon all opposed my amendment to restrict the private school funding guarantee to two years, a move that would have brought forward the Government's review of private education funding to before the 2010 Federal election.

"The amendment would also have enabled Parliament to address what I expect to be an ever increasing gap between the stinginess of State Governments in funding public education and the generosity of the Commonwealth in funding private schools.

"A genuine education revolution would address the dysfunctional education funding arrangements that see the majority of Australian school children receive less government support than their non-government schooled peers."