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Fully Funded Public Schools: Australian Greens Launch Package for Public Education

Media Release
Mehreen Faruqi 22 Nov 2018

The Australian Greens have announced plans for a huge investment in public schools, committing an additional $4.6 billion for public schools over the next four years and $20.5 billion over the next ten years. Under this plan, all public schools would reach 100% of their Schooling Resource Standard by 2023. This will ensure every public school in Australia has the funding to meet the educational needs of their students, no matter their postcode or their parents’ bank balance.

In addition to this, the Greens will increase funding to the existing Capital Grants Program to $400 million a year to improve infrastructure in all schools. This fund will include public schools, which are currently excluded, and guarantee 80% of the fund, $320 million a year, for public schools only.

The Australian Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, said:

“The Greens are proudly the party of public education. We are unapologetic in our advocacy for a well-resourced, world class public education system. 

“For too long, public schools have had to wait at the back of the queue while Government’s pander to already overfunded private schools. The Greens will ensure that, for the first time, every public school is fully funded. 

“There are more than 2.5 million students going to public schools who deserve the best possible education we can offer them. We have to step up and invest in their future. 

“We know education is life changing. All public school students should have the funding for a world class education.

“If we continue on the current trajectory, almost nine in ten public schools won’t be funded to meet the basic needs of their students. This is a national shame. 

“Ninety-three percent of public school teachers dip into their own pocket to buy stationery and classroom equipment, and nearly half buy library resources and textbooks to make up for the lack of Government funding. It doesn’t have to be this way.  

“A world class education can only happen in quality and comfortable learning environments for students and teachers. At the moment, public school students continue to sweat it out in demountable classrooms with no air conditioning, while some private schools build orchestra pits and their second swimming pool. We will ensure $320 million a year goes to disadvantaged and needy public schools to assist in upgrading and building infrastructure,” she concluded. 

Detail

The Greens policy will see the Commonwealth Government make a guaranteed 25% contribution to each school’s Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), the minimum amount of funding needed to provide a quality education. This will amount to $20.5 billion over ten years. 

Our Plan: Additional Commonwealth Recurrent Funding for public schools 

 

State

Total Forward Estimates ($m)

Total Ten Years ($m)

NSW

$1,436

$6,450

Queensland

$1,007

$4,523

ACT

$65

$291

Victoria

$1,057

$4,749

Tasmania

$110

$493

South Australia

$320

$1,438

Western Australia

$499

$2,239

Northern Territory

$60

$334

TOTAL

$4,554

$20,517

The current Liberal Government has restricted Federal funding to 20% of the SRS for public schools. Under Labor’s recent announcement, the Commonwealth will provide 22.2%. The Greens plan to provide 25% of SRS is the only plan that will make sure public schools reach 100% of their SRS. 

We will fund our package by reversing the Coalition’s income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit high income earners, raising $13.4 billion over the next four years alone.

Read our full plan

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