School Funding


Lines below all attributable to NT Greens Candidate for Fannie Bay Suki Dorras-Walker

1. We've seen in the education union report a massive discrepancy between the nation's top schools in terms of capital works compared to the rest of the nation - immediate reaction? 

Once again, we see the vast majority of the community missing out on public money. It’s public schools that do the heavy lifting when it comes to students with the highest needs.

The report tells us that NT public schools have received just half the capital investment that has gone into private schools over the last decade. 

Five elite private schools from interstate collectively spent more on facility upgrades in 2021 than all 153 Territory public schools combined that same year, a new report has revealed.

This imbalance in funding is driving inequality in our community and we’re letting our young people down. 

We all know that maintaining well-kept buildings is vital for positive school morale, and modern facilities are an essential part of delivering on the learning opportunities our young people deserve. 

Directing investment where it’s really needed is how we keep kids engaged, at school and on track.

Socioeconomic status is the single biggest determinant of an Australian child’s school performance. This is unacceptable in a Territory that professes to value fairness.


2. The issue is obviously nationwide, but how should Territorians understand this report? 

Territorians should see this as a wake up call. The NT Government is failing to demand Canberra delivers for NT schools, and it's failing to meet its own responsibilities, leaving our schools woefully underfunded. 

It is no wonder that we have disaffected young people in our community when public schools are being so clearly neglected. The NT Government is failing its responsibility to our kids. 

The Territory has some of the worst school attendance rates in the country. We struggle to adequately staff our schools. Our public schools are underfunded for capital works as well as day-to-day operations. Our public schools are nowhere near funded to meet the level of need of their student cohorts.

We need to support the incredible work our educators are doing every day by backing them in with better school funding. 


3. Can this be an issue the Territory Government can be vocal/active on? 

The Territory Government is not advocating for our public schools in its negotiations with the Federal Government.

Our public school educators do the most important work in the Territory - securing a future for our young people.

It is shameful that the Territory government has presided over a school funding disaster where public funds have not been directed to those who need it most. 

This is a slap in the face to public school educators who work so hard, with so little, to get the best outcomes for our kids. 

We have a national cabinet full of Labor members, yet they can’t invest in the future and advocate for the needs-based funding we so desperately need. Until they do, Territory students and schools will continue to be left behind.


4. Anything else you would like to add?

If we are serious about addressing issues like crime, then we need to get school funding right.  

The NT government needs to direct our public money to the schools that are educating our most vulnerable students - our public schools.

Directing investment where it's really needed is how we keep kids engaged, at school and on track.

That’s how we make our community safer, not by stripping our public schools of funding and then punishing kids who fall through the cracks.

Public money should go to public schools first - no private school should be receiving government subsidies whilst building $63m state-of-the-art facilities, while Government schools struggle in outdated, not fit-for-purpose, neglected buildings and classrooms.