Union's Gonski campaign action a huge success

Early election drives further action

National Gonski Doorknock Day on March 20 was a huge success, with Federation members and supporters going out into 10 targeted electorates to take the Gonski message from door to door.

Volunteers signed up supporters and sought commitments from the public to support the Gonski needs-based model in the coming federal election.

Recent polling shows that even in federal electorates held by Coalition members, the vast majority of voters support the concept of needs-based funding.

“School funding is now one of the top three issues in the federal election,” Mr Mulheron said.

“This is a huge achievement and it has only been possible with the ongoing efforts of volunteers who put their time and effort into the campaign.

“The prominence of this issue is a victory for all those who have supported this campaign.”

Less than 24 hours after the Door-knock events, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set the scene for an early budget and possibly an early double-dissolution election.

“That means we potentially have a matter of weeks to secure a commitment from the Prime Minister to support the full needs-based Gonski funding model,” Mr Mulheron said.

He said teachers are concerned by reports that Premier Mike Baird intends to strike a deal with the Turnbull government that would extend the transition period to achieving the minimum resource standard for all students.

The original plan was for a funding model that would transition all schools to a minimum resource standard in six years.

The Gonski Review found that: “Above all, the additional investment needed to implement a schooling resource standard is necessary because, without it, the high cost of poor educational outcomes will become an even greater drag on Australia’s social and economic development in the future. The need for the additional expenditure and the application of what those funds can do is urgent. Australia will only slip further behind unless, as a nation, we act and act now.”

Mr Mulheron said: "Resources delayed are resources denied."

"As recently as the past week a Grattan Institute report illustrated the urgency for the full implementation of the Gonski model," he said. The Institute says policymakers need to “give schools better support to target teaching at each child’s needs; and work harder to improve the progress of disadvantaged students so that every child in every Australian school can achieve his or her potential”.

Mr Mulheron said: "We will be monitoring for any announcement out of the Council of Australian Governments meeting on April 1 and call upon Premier Baird to put pressure on the Turnbull Government to fully fund the Gonski school funding model."

Further Gonski campaign activities will be organised. Information will be sent to Fed Reps and Workplace Committees about the next actions.

To advance the campaign, members should continue signing up supporters at the I Give a Gonski website and look for recent TV ads that members can share to help raise awareness.

One of the most successful aspects of the campaign so far has been the sharing of Gonski success stories. Mr Mulheron urges members to “take their school’s Gonski stories straight to MPs, particularly those in Coalition-held seats. They are to demand that the Gonski model is funded in full so that the programs behind the school’s stories can be maintained.”

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