The Greens are the only party still fighting for David Gonski’s original vision for school funding

All children deserve the best education possible to set them up for a bright future. No child’s education outcomes should depend on their family’s wealth, income or which state they live in. Parents should never have to shop around because they worry that their local public school does not have the resources it needs to educate their kids – because public education should be the gold standard, not a safety net.

That’s why instituting a Genuine Gonski model of funding is critical for our children. As identified by David Gonski in his original report handed down in 2011, we need a genuine, sector-blind, needs-based model that prioritises funding to look after needy schools and kids. We need a greater investment sooner, so we can give every child the chance to finally reach their potential. This is what a Genuine Gonski funding model would do, and what the old parties have failed to deliver over the past six years.

We have never had a Genuine Gonski. The current ‘Gillard Gonski’ isn’t needs-based. It has locked in funding to wealthy private schools at the expense of public schools, while Turnbull’s ‘Gonski 2.0’ isn’t sector-blind. It offers certainty to private schools but leaves the neediest public schools little chance to catch up after years of neglect.

The Greens plan for school funding aligns with a Genuine Gonski, which is based on the following principles:

Genuine needs-based funding

Public funding should be delivered to schools on the basis of need. Students who face disadvantage should have an education that is equal to that received by students right across the country. Extra funding should be distributed on the basis of low socio-economic status, disability, aboriginality, low English proficiency, school location/remoteness and school size.

More money, to the right schools, faster

There are some schools across our communities that are currently chronically underfunded and some schools that are chronically overfunded. The current reality is that more money is needed for public schools and less money should be put into overfunded private schools – and it needs to happen quickly.

States doing their fair share

All levels of Government across Australia need to commit to the principles of a Genuine Gonski model to ensure that all of our students are properly resourced. The current model leaves States responsible for distributing funding for their state’s public schools funding, but does not lock in the Gonski model or principles.

Transparency and accountability

Gonski recommended an Independent Schools Resourcing Body. This would deliver real accountability on all levels of government to track and review the funding of schools based on need and in an appropriate timeframe to pull all schools out of disadvantage. An independent body would help end the partisan bickering and the politicisation of our education system.

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