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Labor budget response commits to restoring funding to public schools and TAFE
The NSW Teachers Federation welcomes Labor’s commitment to restore in full the $17 billion cut from schools by the Turnbull Government.
In his Budget Reply speech last night, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten acknowledged that these cuts hit public schools the hardest with $1.9 billion cut in 2018 and 2019 alone. That represents 86 per cent of the total funding cut by Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Shorten recognised that it is the public education system that is doing the heavy lifting and reminded the community that public schools teach 82 per cent of Australia’s poorest children, 84 per cent of Indigenous children and 74 per cent of students with disability.
The commitment to invest in TAFE through a two-thirds guaranteed share of federal training funding is also welcome. The hundreds of millions cut from TAFE by Malcolm Turnbull shows his ideological opposition to public education and his government’s determination to privatise vocational education in order to line the pockets of for-profit private providers.
Labor has got its priorities right; investing in high-quality public education for children across the nation is the best way to build a stronger, more prosperous and equitable nation. That stands in stark contrast to the commitment of the Turnbull Government to undermine public education at every turn and prioritise private education and the interests of big business.
“There is now a clear distinction between what the Government announced on Budget night and the Opposition’s response,” Federation President Maurie Mulheron said.
“Malcolm Turnbull is compromising young Australians’ future by prioritising massive tax cuts to huge corporations over funding public education. Alternatively, the Opposition has committed to restoring the funding to public schools and guaranteeing funding to TAFE.“What should be the nation’s priorities? It’s a simple choice Australians now face. Does the community support large cash handouts to banks or the funding of all public schools to the national schooling resource standard and secure funding for the TAFE system?”