Thousands of teachers’ jobs ‘at risk’

An Education Minister is warning that their state stands to lose thousands of teachers under controversial reforms proposed by the Federal Government.

The warning follows yesterday’s remarks made by Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, in which he hinted that the Prime Minister may change how public schools are directly funded by the Commonwealth.

Queensland Education Minister, Kate Jones, said that the overhaul would mean that 4,000 of her state’s teachers would be at risk, and schools in regional areas would lose $2.6bn over 10 years.

Jones will appear before the Senate Select Committee on School Funding Investment, which is sitting in Brisbane today, where she will give evidence of her claims.

“If Malcolm Turnbull turns his back on public education funding he is turning his back on regional Queensland,” Jones said in a statement, adding the extra funding helped pay for literacy coaches, teacher aides and more targeted support for students.

“I call on Malcolm Turnbull and Simon Birmingham not to deny regional Queensland their fair share of education funding.”

However, in a statement released today, Birmingham said that if students missed out, responsibility would fall at the feet of Jones and the Palaszczuk Government, adding it was “an utter lie” to suggest that the Federal Government’s funding was decreasing.
“Ms Jones should acknowledge that, while the Commonwealth gives the Queensland Government money for schools, she completely controls decisions over the funding allocations to each school,” he said.
This included teacher wages, class sizes, the school curriculum and “pretty much every other operational decision in Queensland schools,” he said.