King Street turned green yesterday with the arrival of the Gonski bus and local teachers donning T-shirts in support of the needs based model for funding public education.
Hunter’s Joel Fitzgibbon and his party’s resources and trade spokesman Jason Clare were in town to show their commitment to the Gonski funding which they fear the Federal Government may drop in the May budget.
Hunter schools are amongst the biggest losers from the Gonski cuts imposed by Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition Government, with the electorate set to miss out on $31 million of funding in 2017/18 alone according to the Labor Party.
The cuts equate to fewer teachers, less one-on-one attention and students left behind. They’ll mean students will get less help with the basics like reading, writing, maths, science and computer skills.
“Labor believes education is critical to ensuring Australia has a strong economy with secure jobs. We also believe getting a good education is the ticket to a lifetime of opportunity,” said Mr Fitzgibbon said.
NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said there were two Gonski buses touring rural and regional regions before heading to Canberra for a protest at Parliament House on March 22.
“We are really concerned the Federal Government will pull the Gonski funding model for public school which is a needs based program,” he said.
“And what’s really concerning is most the Gonski funding goes to schools in rural electorates held by National Party members.
“Plus why kill something that is working and making a difference to educational outcomes of our students.”