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Maribyrnong community urged to have its say on school funding

Over the coming months, parents and schools in Maribyrnong will be having a say on the future of school funding, following the release of the first Commonwealth funding review in nearly 40 years.



The Federal Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, has called on local schools and parents to give feedback on the Review of Funding for Schooling, undertaken by an eminent panel chaired by David Gonski AC.

The report, released on Monday, found that current funding arrangements are complicated, lack transparency and are not getting the best results for students. It showed that funding is one reason our nation isn’t giving every child a great education.

“I don’t know of any parent, teacher or school principal who isn’t interested in this issue, and it sparks some spirited debate in the community, Mr Shorten said.

“That’s why it’s so important that we examine the recommendations together and give important feedback. This is a chance for anyone interested in the future of education to have a say in the vital issue of how we fund our schools.”

The Review of Funding for Schooling recommends introducing a Schooling Resource Standard, which would have a set investment per student, and additional top-up funding to target disadvantage.

The Gillard Government will implement a model of this kind if satisfied it will support higher achievement for all students, school choice for a diverse range of schools, equity in access to high quality education, excellent teaching and learning outcomes and financial sustainability for schools.

“When the Government began this review we promised that no school would lose a dollar per student and that commitment stands,” Mr Shorten said.

“We will now work with states and territories, school sectors, education stakeholders and the wider school community on the next stages in developing a new funding model for our schools.

“The report’s findings show that we need to fund our schools in a way that is fair and transparent and ensures every child gets access to a world-class education.

“We have a challenge to face not just on a local level but as a nation, as our international results have been slipping over the past decade.

“This is a great opportunity for the Maribyrnong community to have its say, and I would urge all families, teachers and principals to get involved in public or online forums as they are announced in the coming months,” Mr Shorten said.

The first public and online forum will be held this Wednesday 22nd February in Canberra, and will be streamed live around the country.

“So far, the Gillard Government has doubled its investment in education, and in Maribyrnong alone 96 projects have been funded under the Building the Education Revolution Program, with an investment of over $100 million. These are making a real and tangible difference to the day-to-day lives of students and teachers.

“The next important step in improving our schools is to make sure they are getting the funding they need to most effectively teach our children.”

The full report, the Government’s initial response, details of the next steps and information about the public forum on Wednesday 22 February, go to the Your School Our Future website at www.schoolfunding.gov.au.

 

Suburbs in the Maribyrnong electorate include: Aberfeldie, Airport West, Albion, Avondale Heights, Brooklyn (part), Essendon, Essendon North, Essendon West, Kealba, Keilor East, Keilor Park, Maribyrnong (part), Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, St Albans (part), Sunshine, Sunshine North and Tullamarine (part).

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Media Contact:

Jayne Edwards

Kieran Barns-Jenkins

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