The NSW Government says that it will not agree to any funding model that provides “special deals” for independent and Catholic schools.
Speaking of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s new school funding model, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said the extra money for the independent school sector was “not fair” and that he was given “no advanced warning” about the Government’s plan.
Mr Stokes said that he welcomed additional funding for NSW schools but that “it’s got to be distributed fairly”.
He went on to say that he was “puzzled” by the Prime Minister’s announcement, citing that the Federal and NSW state governments were “pretty close to a deal” without any “special deals” for independent and Catholic schools.
Mr Stokes also said that public schools in New South Wales were “the largest by far” of all schooling sectors and that “you can’t leave them out, it’s just not fair”.
Mr Stokes is supported by the NSW Teachers Federation, which has criticised the Prime Minister’s funding package as “corrupt”.
In a public statement, the organisation’s president Maurie Mulheron said that the funding package was simply a tactic by the Federal Government to “buy votes ahead of the next federal election”.
Mr Mulheron added that it was an “inequitable, unfair and a corrupt funding model” and that the Prime Minister should be “taking notice” of Mr Stokes’ rejection of the package.
He went on to say that the Government had “ripped billions of dollars from our public schools” and that funding was urgently needed to decrease class sizes and hire more staff so that children get adequate support.
Mr Mulheron said that because public schools traditionally do the “heavy lifting” that they have “the greatest need for additional resources” and that the Government was “ignoring the needs of public schools”.