Labor has promised to deliver the biggest investment in public schools in Australian history if it is elected next year.
The Opposition’s $14bn, 10-year education plan will see more than 13,000 extra teachers flow into Australia’s public schools, which have been struggling with resource shortages and burgeoning enrolments.
“What matters to me and Labor is handing on a better deal to the next generation – that's why I'm passionate about building an education system that gives every child in every school the best chance at life,” Labor Leader, Bill Shorten, said today.
“Public schools teach two in three of all school students, and the overwhelming majority of Australia's neediest children.”
Shorten added this includes 82% of the poorest children, 84% of indigenous children, and 74% of children with disabilities.
The additional funding will be conditional on the states and territories signing up to a national plan “to improve schools with clear and ambitious goals and targets”.
It is also expected that schools put the money towards improving student outcomes in literacy, numeracy and science, as well as professional development for teachers.
Labor says the extra money will ensure public schools can give students more individual attention, and more help with the basics such as reading, writing, maths, and science.
The Australian Government Primary Principals’ Association (AGPPA) said “principals all over Australia” would welcome the announcement, adding it would result in an increase in funding to all public schools.
“This money goes a long way in correcting the anomalies that currently exist between funding of Government and non-Government schools,” Anderson said.
“We applaud this announcement, as it will move Government schools closer to receiving 100% of the School Resourcing Standard [SRS].”
However, Anderson said that while Labor’s plan will see all schools receive 22.2% of the SRS, the Association will continue to push for all future Federal Governments to fund public schools at 25% of the SRS.
Whilst this is welcomed news, and will see schools receiving 22.2% of the SRS by 2022, AGPPA will continue to call on all future Federal Governments to fund public schools at 25% of the SRS.
“Public schools educate 2.5 million children – and the overwhelming majority of Australia’s neediest children – and it is time for public education to get its fair share,” Anderson said.