NSW MUST BACK COMMONWEALTH ON SCHOOL FUNDING
14 April 2013
The New South Wales Secondary Principals' Council (NSW SPC) has urged the NSW Government to back the Federal Government's endorsement of a needs-based funding model that will support the education of all children in the state.
"Finally, we have action to rectify the inequity of opportunity in Australia where some students have not been given access to quality education as needed," said the SPC president Lila Mularczyk.
"The Gonski Review of school funding laid out in stark terms that some students were being left behind in under-resourced schools, unable to get the support they needed to achieve their best.
"Now, the Federal Government has put funding on the table to match its in-principle commitment to reform. The funding offered is significant and will begin to close the gap in opportunity and offer thousands of NSW students a better start in life."
"But the NSW Government must match this commitment or this rare opportunity to transform our schools will be lost."
Ms Mularczyk said it was a wonderful result that years of campaigning by representative associations and unions of principals, schools, teachers, parents and students had the nation on the verge of enshrining in legislation and financial arrangements recognition that education funding should be based on need – that all students, by right, deserve sufficient resources in and outside the classroom to offer them a fair chance at academic success.
She also warned that now is not the time for politics or rhetoric.
"It has been easy up until now for the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and the Education Minister Adrian Piccoli to speak positively about the Gonski reforms," Ms Mularczyk said.
"This week, however, Premier O'Farrell will be judged by his action. When the Council of Australian Governments meets on Friday our state will be asked to contribute its share of funding to support the investment made by the Commonwealth.
"This is the time for action, not procrastination. The children of this state cannot afford for Mr O'Farrell to miss his opportunity to make a real difference."
Last year the NSW Government – having been made fully aware by Mr Gonski's review that NSW schools urgently needed more funding – cynically slashed the state education budget by $1.7 billion.
"Mr O'Farrell needs to rethink those cuts. Of course there are budgetary constraints. But the education of our children is too important to be bargained or gambled away," Ms Mularczyk said.
"The Premier should back his strong support for Gonski with action, announce that the cuts will be reversed and that NSW will pay its fair share of the reform bill.
"Mr O'Farrell this week has a chance to earn himself a reputation as the Education Premier, a leader who put the future of all students above politics and ensured a fair go for all children in NSW schools."
Lila (Liliana) Mularczyk JP
Principal, Merrylands High School
President, The NSW Secondary Principals' Council
NSW ACEL Executive
Chris Presland (NSW SPC Deputy President)
St Clair High School
Endeavour Avenue, St Clair 2759
Ph 9670 6700
Fax 9834 5571
Bernie Roebuck (NSW SPC Deputy President)
Finley High School
Ph 03 5883 1344
Mobile -0409 438 201
Andrew Newman (NSW SPC Deputy President)
Mobile; 0407134 394