Bid to win families with extra school funding
PARENTS who send their kids to public schools will be able to look up exactly how much extra funding they would get if Labor wins the election as the Opposition ramps up its pitch to families.
Labor will on Wednesday launch a website that for the first time allows parents to search for their school and receive a breakdown of extra funding over the next three years.
In a bid to make education an election battleground, more than 180,000 teachers will also be corralled by the Australian Education Union to promote Labor's plans to parents.
Bill Shorten this month pledged to spend an extra $14 billion on public schools over the next decade but had not yet provided a breakdown by school.
The funding is worked out using a formula that allocates an amount per student with added loadings based on a range of factors such as the location of the school and the number of students from poorer backgrounds or those with special needs.
When parents look up their school, they are also given a figure for the extra funding pledged to all schools in their electorate and directed to the Labor candidate in the area.
Two out of three children attend a public school and Labor campaigners believe they can edge out the Coalition in their appeal to parents.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked Labor's funding announcement, warning it would mean "$14 billion of higher taxes for Australian families". He said the Coalition had already committed an extra $24 billion on schools.
The PM also offered a $4.6 billion boost to independent schools in a bid to stop a campaign against the government by the Catholic sector.
Labor's education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said schools would have control over using funds to hire extra teachers, classroom aides or to expand their curriculum into areas including languages, coding and vocational subjects.
"Every student in every public school will be better off under Labor's plan," Ms Plibersek said.
"Our extra investment will transform public schools across Australia and give all children the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter where they live, or how much their parents earn."
In the first three years from 2020, Labor's plan would boost public school coffers by $647 million in Queensland. NSW public schools would get an extra $917 million, Victoria $804 million, South Australia $256 million, Western Australia $501 million, Tasmania $52 million, ACT $57 million, and the NT $41 million, Labor says.