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Teachers sidelined in schools funding agenda
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham is disrespecting the teaching profession by trying to impose a reform agenda without any consultation with teachers and without the fair funding needed for our schools, Australian Education Union (AEU) Federal President Correna Haythorpe said today.
The Council of Australian Governments' Education Council is meeting in Adelaide to discuss funding agreements, which will leave 87 per cent of Australian public schools below the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS).
“Every education minister going into that meeting today must understand how deeply felt this issue is within the teaching profession. We are outraged that a national agreement is being considered without any consultation with teachers,” Ms Haythorpe said.
Federation President Maurie Mulheron said: “The teaching profession will not accept so-called educational ‘reforms’ in any agreement that are imposed and that have not been developed in consultation with teachers.”
Ms Haythorpe said any future discussions must have teachers at the table, otherwise the teaching profession could refuse to cooperate with the reform agenda.
“Mr Birmingham wants to impose his reform agenda on a deeply inequitable and under-resourced school system, and that is unacceptable to our members,” she said.
The Australian Education Union will not accept anything less than 100 per cent SRS funding for every public school.
Under federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s public education funding plan, $1.9 billion will be cut from public school funding in 2018 and 2019. By 2023 only 13 per cent of public schools will receive enough funding to reach the minimum SRS.
“You can’t impose change without substantial investment. The way things stand, just 13 per cent of public schools will meet the minimum funding benchmark by 2023.
“The states must get a commitment from the Commonwealth to secure full funding for all schools, so that all public schools reach 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard, before making any agreements with Simon Birmingham.”
Ms Haythorpe also called for additional funding for school capital works and for supporting students with disability in public schools.