The Greens say Labor must eliminate dodgy accounting tricks from new bilateral deals on school funding, with states and territories currently able to include 4% in non-school spending in their public school funding share.
This Morrison-era trickery means that yesterday’s WA deal will only deliver 96% of minimum funding to the state’s public schools, locking in underfunding for the next six years.
The Greens support calls for an increase of the Commonwealth share of public school funding from 20% to at least 25%, and introduced a bill last year to establish a 25% funding floor.
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Education (Primary & Secondary), Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“Labor’s announcement yesterday on WA public school funding shows that pressure from the Greens, unions, teachers, parents and carers is working.
“But let’s be really clear: this is not a deal for full funding. It’s not even a deal for minimum funding. It’s a deal which locks in underfunding until 2029 for 300,000 WA schoolkids.
“Labor can’t be taken seriously on public school funding while they perpetuate a Morrison-era sleight of hand that shortchanges our most disadvantaged kids.
“Labor needs to be honest and transparent with parents, carers and teachers and they need to close this loophole in the next bilateral agreements.
“They should also support our bill to axe the 20% Commonwealth funding cap and replace it with a 25% floor.
“Public schools have waited long enough for 100% SRS funding. Let’s just get it done.”