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Turnbull Government’s political ads rip $10m out of school funding
The Federal Education Department has been caught misleading Australian parents over funding of almost $10 million for an advertising campaign with money that should have gone to schools.
The Australian Education Union (AEU) has revealed the Federal Department claimed on October 12 last year that no money for the advertising campaign had been siphoned from its Budget allocation for education to promote the Turnbull Government’s Quality Schools plan.
But in reply to a question in Senate Estimates on October 26, the Federal Department of Education and Training stated, “$9.7 milllion has been allocated to the Quality Schools campaign in the 2017-18 financial year."
The Department further admitted the funds being drawn directly from the “Quality Schools – true needs-based funding for Australian schools measure”, which is meant for the funding and resourcing of schools.
Federation President Maurie Mulheron said this was money that should have been spent on students in need of greater learning support, not on government propaganda.
“Parents and teachers are asking where the money has come from and how much did these blatant political television advertisements cost,” Mr Mulheron said. “Now we know. It came from funds originally meant for schools.”
On Twitter today, the AEU posted: “REVEALED: @TurnbullMalcolm spending almost $10 million on misleading ads about its school plan. This is the same gov that stripped $9.5 million in funding from public students with disability in the NT.”
It further tweeted: “Ed department cannot explain why it told Parliament on Oct 12 that no money had been allocated for schools advertising when documents show planning for it was already underway.”
Parliamentary Hansard records the Department’s response to the question by Labor Senator Jacinta Collins: