LETTERS: Gonski love
THE NewsMail deserves congratulations on two recent related initiatives.
In discussing school funding, its editorial of April 7 stated: "Australia can't afford not to pay for Gonski".
Last Saturday, the launch of its "Fair Go for Regions" campaign to have governments appropriately recognise the importance of regions through funding is also noteworthy.
The importance of additional education (Gonski) funding to regional students was made very clear in a meeting with Hinkler MP Keith Pitt recently by Queensland Teachers Union Bundaberg principal union representatives.
Additional funding to schools through Gonski funding (so-called after the chair of the review panel that made these recommendations, David Gonski) is resulting in very significant improvement to local student outcomes.
However, the Federal Government has only committed to funding Gonski for four years ending in 2017, instead of the recommended six years, meaning these student programs will necessarily come to an end.
This will result in Hinkler regional schools losing more than $20 million of school funding over 2018-19.
It is hard to understand National Party politicians like Mr Pitt not advocating more strongly for Gonski funding support to their Coalition Liberal partners, as it is schools in their regional, rural and remote electorates that stand to gain the most from a Gonski, needs-based school funding model.
So one way in which the Fair Go for Regions campaign could be supported is to meet the commitment for the full six years of Gonski funding, to which both the ALP and Greens have committed.
Indeed, in acknowledging Gonski school funding as an investment in our young people, rather than a cost, the NewsMail could not have put it better in concluding its editorial by stating "the government needs to make some tough decisions to fund Gonski, otherwise we'll keep falling behind other nations."
QTU Bundaberg North