Push for Gonski at Glenwood High School

Greenway federal MP Michelle Rowland and opposition leader Bill Shorten visited Glenwood High School today to push for an additional two years of Gonski funding.

Schools have operated with Gonski money since the beginning of the year.

The needs-based model provides an amount per student plus extra money for students who fall into six categories: aboriginal, from low socio-economic areas, with a disability, from a small school, speak English as a second language or from a rural or remote school.

NSW Teachers’ Federation Blacktown organiser Jason Gerke said 80 per cent of the Gonski funding was to flow in the fifth and sixth years of the initial agreement — the part of the funding package the government has yet to commit to.

He said the Abbott government’s response pre-election that it would be irresponsible to make promises beyond a four year budget cycle was weak.

‘‘It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of political will and the priorities of the government,’’ he said.

‘‘We see things like the NDIS budgeted for beyond the four year budgetary cycle. There are massive investments in roads and infrastructure. Paid parental leave is something that they’ve obviously budgeted for beyond four years so that argument is very weak we believe.’’

Ms Rowland said schools in her electorate would loose $220 million over the next ten years.

‘‘The impacts of these cuts are very real. Every student in Greenway will get $1,000 less support, every year,’’ she said.

‘‘Our teachers want to be working to improve our schools, not spending their time and energy planning for how they will cope with these cuts.’’

Mr Shorten said: ‘‘These cuts are equivalent to sacking one in seven teachers and will mean a cut to the average school of $3.2 million.’’

National Gonski Week ends August 3.

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