Marshall says he cannot support Commonwealth Govt’s new school funding

Statement by Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall:

I cannot support the schools funding announcement made by the Commonwealth Government today.

It represents a special ‘side’ deal for one school sector and is not in the best interests of all my schools and the rural and remote communities I serve.

Since 2013, when NSW was the first State to sign a funding agreement with the Commonwealth, I have always been a passionate supporter of the Gonski education reforms and a needs-based funding model for all schools.

It is interesting to note that NSW is still the only state or territory to fully implement the Gonski reforms in their original form.

Schools across country NSW have been the big winners from Gonski, particularly in the Northern Tablelands, where there has been a $22 million per year recurrent funding increase since the then Education Minister Adrian Piccoli introduced Gonski.

The reforms have also given school principals and school communities control of their funding for the very first time, to ensure the additional resources are spent where they were needed and would help students the most.

The old funding model was arcane, discriminated against rural and remote schools, and locked every school a one-size-fits-all approach. We know every school and every community is different, which is why Gonski is crucial to our country schools.

School funding should always be needs-based and sector blind, in line with the original Gonski principles, which our State signed up to five years ago.

I will always advocate for more money for all schools in our region, but I won’t support special deals for one sector over, or to the detriment, of another.

I never want to see a return to the school funding wars of the past that pitted private schools against public schools and I urge the Federal Government to provide equal treatment for all schools, public and private.

The Commonwealth must deliver on the original agreement with NSW to ensure fairness and equity – our country students of today and tomorrow need this.

We have come so far in the last five years and I don’t want to see us go backwards now.

Statement by Adam Marshall: September 21, 2018