Lifestyle

$2m in school funds gonski?

Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott
Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott Contributed

MORE than a dozen Southern Downs schools will have their funding slashed if the proposed Gonski Review changes are implemented, figures leaked at the weekend show.

Federal Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott yesterday said the proposed Gonski reforms could threaten the livelihood of our country schools.

"All the Gonski Review has done is take a red marker and cut money from schools in small country towns," Mr Scott said.

Schools on the hit-list include a number of primary schools from Warwick, Stanthorpe, Karara, Leyburn and surrounds - a total funding loss of $2,297,306.50.

The controversial Gonski report, released in February, outlines a new school funding model allocating a standard amount for every student, with loadings added on for factors affecting student performance.

These would include "social disadvantage", being indigenous, living in rural and remote areas and disabilities.

The report calculated the cost of extra funding for all schools to provide a high standard of education without taking one dollar away from any, was $5bn a year.

This was based on 2009 figures, but new calculations the extra money required in actual 2013-14 dollars would be about $6.5bn.

Mr Scott said the funding changes, which could be up to $470,000 for some schools in the region, would "radically redesign" education alongside another 9500 schools in the country.

"The modelling blew apart the government's claim that no school will lose a dollar in funding," Mr Scott said.

"The government has been sitting on the Gonski Review since December last year and we're still waiting to see a formal and detailed response.

"Parents will pay more, or class sizes will rise, as funding is cut to more than 3200 government, Catholic and independent schools across Australia."

He said the government needed to decide whether the plan would be adopted sooner rather than later.

"The modelling must be released immediately to give parents and schools certainty," Mr Scott said.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said he would not sign up to a national partnership that meant fund-cutting for schools on the Southern Downs.

"I am concerned these early projections suggest nearly 500 Queensland schools could face losing funding under the Gonski reforms - that's almost a third of our schools," Mr Langbroek said.

Topics:  bruce scott, gonski review, primary schools


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