Australia: Educators’ campaign for public schools’ fair funding

published 5 April 2018 updated 19 September 2018

The Australian Education Union is demanding that public schools are properly resourced by public authorities with the launch of a new phase of its schools funding campaign – “Fair Funding Now!”

The Fair Funding Now! Initiative, launched by the Australian Education Union (AEU) on 27 March in Canberra, comes follows the government’s A$1.9 billion cut to public schools in 2018 and 2019.

While 2018 “should have been a year of celebration for our schools with the biggest investment in schools in decades … the Turnbull Government’s A$1.9 billion cut will deny most of our children this life-changing assistance”, said AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe.

Embedding inequality

Haythorpe stated, “The Government changed the law to permanently embed inequality into Australian schools.  Eighty-seven per cent of public schools will be funded below the agreed Australian funding standard while 65 per cent of private schools will receive more than the agreed standard.”

She added that “the Commonwealth Government provides a capital works fund of $1.9 billion for private schools but not to public schools that desperately need basic classroom-building improvements.”

A fair go for all children

“For our children's sake, we must stand up and demand fair funding now. Fair funding now for more teachers and support staff, for smaller classes, for more one-on-one individual support, and for upgraded classrooms and facilities. Fair funding now for a fair go for all children,” Haythorpe concluded.

AEU launched its new campaign name – Fair Funding Now! – at a meeting with principals and parents from throughout Australia. It wants political leaders to hear and understand the importance of public school funding to the community.

AEU Demands

Australian educators and civil society are asking federal politicians to commit to:

- Reverse the Turnbull government’s A$1.9 billion cut to public schools in 2018 and 2019

- Ensure all public schools are funded to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) by 2023

- Remove the 20 per cent cap on the Commonwealth share of the SRS from the Australian Education Amendment Act

- Establish a capital fund for public schools to upgrade school buildings and classrooms

- Reverse the cuts to disability funding

Learn more about the Fair Funding Now! campaign here