Put politics aside to secure school funding
16 APRIL 2013
A once in a lifetime opportunity to better fund schools is how CSU Executive Dean of Education, Professor Toni Downes, describes the Federal Government’s education package and she’s urging the states to get on board.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to better fund schools is how Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) Executive Dean of Education, Professor Toni Downes, describes the Federal Government’s education package and she’s urging the states to get on board.
Professor Downes has welcomed increased funding for primary and secondary schools but she is disappointed by proposed cuts to higher education.
“The increase in funding is long overdue and while $14.5 billion sounds like a lot of money it will barely bring Australia into line with the education spending of our peers,” Professor Downes said.
Professor Downes argues that the way this funding is going to flow to schools is just as important as the funding itself.
“This plan will see a base amount of money for every student with supplementary funding for disadvantaged students, for example Indigenous students, those from low socio-economic backgrounds and kids from rural and regional Australia.
“These students will be the big winners from this package and funding for these groups will be guaranteed beyond the short-term political cycle.
“The loadings will pay for items such as specialist teachers, teacher aides and new programs to help students, particularly with literacy and numeracy, and additional equipment such as computers and iPads,” she said.
Professor Downes is urging state governments to put politics aside at this week’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.
“If the Federal Government wants to increase Australia’s ranking for reading, maths and science then increased funding and a better system for delivering that money is the first step.
“It will also be importat that this funding is tied to school improvement and I hope there will be colaboration between all levels of government,” Professor Downes said.
Read CSU’s response to the proposed cuts to higher education funding on CSU News here.