Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi spokesperson has said that from early learning through to university and vocational training, the 2020-21 budget fails public education.
Senator Faruqi said:
“There’s nothing new in the budget for early childhood education. The government kept the sector on life support at the start of Covid-19, but early childhood education and care has been completely neglected now. Make early learning fee-free and everyone benefits.
“The public-private school funding gap remains disgusting. Private schools will receive $19 billion more than public schools over the next four years. The gap is growing, too. It’s time for the government to rip up the private school special deals and properly fund our public schools.
“Vocational education continues to be neglected and cut over the medium term. Well-funded and fee-free public TAFE, not privatisation and a mishmash of microcredentials, is the answer to giving everybody the opportunity to study, upskill and retrain throughout life.
“Funding a few short courses instead of making generational investment in post-school education is a naked attempt by the Liberals to save money and throw their for-profit education provider mates a bone.
“Let’s be clear about the supposed ‘new money’ for university research in the budget. It will barely cover the university funding cuts the government is ramming through right now, and won’t come near the loss from international students and projects on hold.
“We need generational new investment in research to aid our recovery, JobKeeper for universities to retain researchers who have lost their jobs, and free university for all to develop new talent,” she said.