Labor’s NT school deal locks in underfunding for every student


Labor’s deal with the NT government on public school funding is too little, too late, and will actually lock in underfunding for the most disadvantaged students in the country.

Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Primary & Secondary Education, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“The announcement of a deal to increase funding to NT public schools is welcome, but it’s a half-arsed effort that will not deliver 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard to a single Territory student.

“Labor created this broken funding model when they fumbled the Gonski recommendations, and now they’re delivering a sloppy patch-up job and declaring ‘mission accomplished’.

“Not only is this extra funding not going to be fully delivered until 2029, there is no indication that Labor plans to ditch the dodgy Morrison-era clauses that allow states and territories to deduct 4% in non-school costs from their funding contribution.

“And we can’t forget that the SRS calculation, on which funding is based, is not ‘full funding’ by any measure. It’s the bare minimum of funding a school needs to get 80% of students above the minimum NAPLAN standard.

“It’s been 12 years since Gonski, and now kids in the NT, which is the most egregiously under-resourced public system in the country, will have to wait another five years for funding that doesn't even lift them to the minimum standard. 

“I’m not going to do cartwheels over a deal that locks in underfunding for the most disadvantaged kids in the country.”