Ann Sudmalis bites back at funding cut claims

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Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis has rebutted claims Shoalhaven schools will miss out on $14 million of funding under the Gonski 2.0 plan.

This follows the revelation that Nowra East Public School would see a cut of $1.3 million over the next two years.

Mrs Sudmalis said the funding announced in the recent federal budget was “truly reflecting” the changes David Gonski planned for better education. 

“In our true application of David Gonski’s recommendations, we will deliver an extra $3.8 billion into NSW schools over the next 10 years,” she said.

“A $263 million share going to all 52 Gilmore schools, resulting in an increase of funding across the board.”

Mrs Sudmalis dismissed NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Education Gareth Ward assertion the federal government had not honoured its original Gonski agreement with the state. She said there was a “strong growth” in school funding. 

She said “past deals” should be left in the past.

"There is absolutely no reason for the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward to be aligning himself with Unions, like the NSW Teachers Federation,” she said. 

“[We need to] put discussions about separate treatment of one state versus another, or one sector versus another, behind us and actually truly get on with the job at fixing the school funding wars of the past with a single, consistent, needs-based approach in the future.”

Former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell signed the original Gonski funding agreement in 2013, which would have seen an additional $1.8 billion given to schools across the state. 

“I would encourage everybody to move on from the days and the years of separate deals for separate players in school wars, and instead back us in delivering the Gonski report recommendations,” Mrs Sudmalis said. 

“These sorts of scare tactics are the reasons why we need to end school funding wars and embrace the federal government’s Gonski recommendations and reforms.”

Mrs Sudmalis said schools would benefit from $3.8 billion of funding in NSW. 

She said the Coalition would deliver a “true, fair, needs-based” reform to schools across the nation.

NSW Parliamentary secretary for education Gareth Ward said he aligned himself with “students, teachers and parents who want the original Gonski agreement”.

“This isn’t about the union or one side of politics – the full Gonski agreement is about student outcomes in education that make a real difference in the lives of students,” he said. 

“The Federal Government can end the funding war right now by honouring the agreement we struck to ensure that every student in every school gets the best chance to succeed.

“Whilst I welcome the increase in education funding to the state’s in this year’s federal budget, it falls short of the agreement we have the Commonwealth on education funding.”

Mr Ward as someone who attended public schools with a disability, he makes no apologies for fighting for education and positive student outcomes. 

He said the federal government should make changes to its budget to meet the original Gonski agreement. 

“This isn’t about politics – it’s about the future of quality education,” Mr Ward said. 

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