Nowra East Public School faces $1.3m cut in funding

NSW Parliamentary secretary for education Gareth Ward.

NSW Parliamentary secretary for education Gareth Ward.

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Shoalhaven schools will miss out on nearly $14 million of funding under the federal government’s Gonski 2.0 plan. 

Nowra East Public School is the worst affected in the Gilmore electorate, with a cut of $1.3 million over the next two years.

Vincentia High School will also be hit hard, losing $1.3 million in government funding.

NSW Parliamentary secretary for education Gareth Ward said the federal government had not honoured its original Gonski agreement with the state.

“The federal government has increased funding by $820 million but it’s not the increase that we had signed up to when Gonski was first agreed to between the federal and state governments,” he said. 

“The agreed funding model would have seen an additional $1.8 billion go into schools up until 2019. 

“We would have expected more because of the agreement we had.”

Former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell signed the original Gonski funding agreement in 2013.

Mr Ward said the state government would be lobbying for the agreement to be fulfilled.

“We will continue to fight to make sure schools are resourced in accordance with the agreement we had,” he said. 

“We signed that agreement and NSW had to make considerable changes to our budget in order to accommodate the increases in education spending. We have honoured every single word of that agreement.

“We are disappointed the federal government hasn’t honored the agreement we had with them.”

Mr Ward said he was aware of the needs of East Nowra Public School. 

He said education was important to ensure every student was given the same opportunity to achieve their full potential. 

“I am absolutely aware of the needs of schools like East Nowra, where you have a significant gap in terms or the haves and have-nots,” Mr Ward said. 

“We want to make sure we break the cycles of poverty inside certain communities and one of the ways we can do that is by providing robust education.

“The reality is that not every students needs are the same. As a result, we need to make sure that students that do need extra support in order to achieve, get that extra support.”

Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis has been contacted for comment. 

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