Labor Offers No Hope To 2.6 Million Public School Kids

Australian Greens

The Greens say Labor’s budget contains barely no new spending for Australia’s woefully underfunded public schools while they pour an additional $5.9 billion over the forward estimates into the overfunded private sector.

The Schools Upgrade Fund for public school infrastructure will also be discontinued, yet Labor will continue to subsidise new construction in fee-charging private schools into the future.

As stated by Greens spokesperson on Primary & Secondary Education, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“Tipping more public money into a private system bursting at the seams with funding, while 2.6 million kids attend public schools that aren’t able to deliver them the education they deserve, isn’t only unjustifiable, it’s reprehensible.

“100% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) isn’t some utopian aspiration – it’s only enough funding to get 80% of kids in a school up to the minimum standard for reading and numeracy. And Labor won’t even commit to that.

“If Labor is so concerned about inflation and the cost of living, properly funding public schools and reversing the cost-shifting that’s produced soaring out-of-pocket costs for parents and carers, would have been a pretty smart idea.

“We know that Labor is currently in negotiations with the states and territories on new funding arrangements, but the two deals they have announced so far would actually bake in underfunding in WA and the NT.

“Labor has signalled that they will be introducing legislation to lock in the new funding deals. With the Coalition ideologically opposed to public education, the Greens are likely to be in balance of power on any future bills.

“If Labor thinks the Greens will just roll over and let them lock in underfunding for another generation of public school kids they have another thing coming.

“The Greens are calling for 100% of the SRS for every public school in the country at the start of the new national agreement, in January 2025.”

/Public Release. View in full here.