Pyne’s Irresponsible Scare Campaign on Schools
- Minister for School Education
- Minister for Early Childhood and Youth
Christopher Pyne this morning continued his irresponsible scare campaign about school funding.
His allegations about Labor's plans are completely untrue. We have repeatedly made it clear that no school – regardless of sector – will lose a dollar per student.
Pyne needs to come clean. The only party planning to cut education spending are the Liberals – a shocking $2.8 billion to be wiped from the school system, as detailed in their budget response papers.
The findings and recommendations of the school funding report were welcomed by government and non-government schools, parents groups, teacher unions and state and territory governments yesterday.
Pyne is isolated and out-of-touch with the education community. He should stop playing petty politics and start focusing on what matters – getting the best funding system for all Australian kids.
Not only does he continue to get it wrong on indexation and funding for non-government schools, he has demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the Gonski report. It is clear that he should spend less time fabricating lies about Labor and more time reading the report.
Pyne: The Government will stop indexation of non-government schools.
Fact: We have said that indexation will be a feature of any new school funding system.
Pyne: There is a ‘private school hit list’.
Fact: There is no hit list. We have said repeatedly that no school will lose a dollar of funding per student. Any new system would have to meet that test before it is implemented.
Pyne: Schools will be forced to increase their fees.
Fact: There is nothing in the Gonski report that says schools will have to increase their fees as a result of the model. Independent schools representatives acknowledged this yesterday.
Pyne: Non-government schools will lose $4.2 billion in government funding.
Fact: The Liberals have done their sums on the back of an envelope based on out-dated figures. There is no mention of a $4.2 billion cut anywhere in the Gonski report. The only people planning to cut funds to schools are the Opposition – at least $2.8 billion at last count.
Pyne: Australia has a problem with teacher quality.
Fact: Australia has a great education system staffed with great teachers. And teacher quality is getting even better thanks to the Gillard Government’s $500 million investment in teacher training, and the introduction of national professional standards. His comments are offensive to hard-working teachers.
Pyne: There are no social justice reasons to deliver extra funding for disadvantaged schools and kids.
Fact: The Gonski report, OECD data and NAPLAN results confirm there is a growing gap between well-off and less well-off students and schools. Labor believes that demography should not equal destiny and disadvantaged kids are entitled to extra support from society.