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Majority of Indigenous students continue to miss out under new schools funding legislation.



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An affiliate of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and Education International (EI) Media Release Media Release Media Release

Australian Education Union - Federal Office Ground Floor, 120 Clarendon Street, Southbank, Victoria, 3006 Phone : +61 (0)3 9693 1800 Fax : +61 (0)3 9693 1805 Email : aeu@aeufederal.org.au Website : www.aeufederal.org.au

24 September 2008

MAJORITY OF INDIGENOUS STUDENTS CONTINUE TO MISS OUT UNDER NEW SCHOOLS FUNDING LEGISLATION

The majority of Indigenous students who attend public schools will continue to miss out on adequate funding to guarantee a high standard of education under new federal funding schools legislation introduced today.

New funding measures announced by the Federal Government will deliver the maximum funding level of 70% of Average Government Student Recurrent Costs (AGSRC) to non-government schools in remote areas with significant numbers of Indigenous students.

But public schools which educate around 90% of Indigenous students continue to have their funding levels capped at 10% of AGSRC in secondary schools and 8.9% for primary schools, up to 7 times less than non-government schools.

“There is no explanation or defence for denying the majority of Indigenous students adequate funding levels simply because they attend public schools,” said AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos.

“Indigenous children remain among the most disadvantaged students in the country.

“While private schools will have their funding levels guaranteed by this new legislation, public schools which educate the overwhelming majority of Indigenous and disadvantaged students are still waiting.

“A recent study by education funding expert Dr. Jim McMorrow found that without additional investment, public schools will suffer a funding cut within three years.

“The study recommended at the very least an immediate investment of $1.5 billion to restore overall federal government public school funding to 1996 levels.

“If as a nation we are serious about lifting overall student performance and addressing underachievement we must invest in our public schools.

“The pursuit of excellence and equity also requires additional targeted funding to address entrenched disadvantage.”

For further information, please contact:

Angelo Gavrielatos Federal President 0488 012 045

Erin Farley Media 0409 510 879