25 April 2013

Federal Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland today said that local schools would be the winners after the Prime Minister signed an agreement with the NSW Government to inject $5 billion into NSW schools.

But, it is under threat from Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party, with Liberal Education Spokesperson, Christopher Pyne confirming funding will be ripped away from NSW if all states don’t sign up.

PYNE: Certainly if the Coalition is elected and there are some states operating under different models, we will not honour those agreements.
[ABC The World Today – April 15, 2013]

Ms Rowland said the historic agreement will benefit over 1.1 million students across the state and ensure every child in Greenway receives a world class education.

“When I first entered Parliament I stressed the importance of education in creating opportunities for people in our area to succeed in life and these reforms will help make that happen,” Ms Rowland said.

“Education is the great enabler. It is the key to fulfilling employment, economic opportunity, the joy of teamwork and collegiality.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement of more funding for better schools is welcome news for all students in the Greenway electorate.

“Under the plan, the Gillard Government will invest $2 for every $1 the state government contributes.

“The plan will ensure our schools, teachers and kids are properly resourced for generations to come and Australia’s classrooms are among the top 5 in the world in reading, maths and science by the year 2025.

“This historic agreement means that schools in our State will benefit from around an additional $5 billion in funding under the plan to lift the resourcing and standards of every school and set our kids up for the future.

“This is a great deal for schools in our patch.

“The Gillard Government’s investment in better schools will equip local children with the skills they need to grab the high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future.”

Under the deal NSW schools will receive an additional investment totalling around $5 billion over six years. Of this, the Federal Government will contribute 65 per cent ($3,270 billion) and the NSW Government 35 per cent ($1,761 billion).

It means more money:

  • To help improve reading and writing;
  • For specialist language teachers; and
  • To ensure schools have enough money for the teaching resources and modern equipment they need.

Glenwood resident and public education advocate, Denyse Whelan said the funding agreement will benefit all children.

“I’m pleased to note that the Gonski reforms will now occur in NSW thanks to the decision by Premier Barry O’Farrell to sign up. I look forward to seeing the benefits for all children in schools over the period of the reform,” Ms Whelan said.

Seven Hills West Public School parent, Kirstie Boerst said the reforms are an investment in the future of the country.

“A fairer funding model such as the Gonski model will provide our public schools with the resources they need to improve outcomes and put an end to intergenerational poverty and lives on welfare forever,” Ms Boerst said.

Ms Rowland said an Abbott Government would take this record investment in schools away from local kids and families.

“Tony Abbott and Jayme Diaz will reverse these reforms and cut education to the bone, taking billions of dollars out of our local schools,” Ms Rowland said.

“They don’t think that local kids deserve better schools – he wants students in Blacktown, Lalor Park, Riverstone and Glenwood to stay stuck in the past.

“Our plan for better schools leaves no-one behind – it means a good education for every local child regardless of their postcode.

“This is great news for our local schools – but I’m really concerned about what Tony Abbott’s cuts could mean for them if he is elected.”

“Tony Abbott needs to follow Barry O’Farrell’s lead and support Labor’s plan for better schools so we can give every child the best possible start in life.”

To urge Tony Abbott to support the National Plan for School Improvement visit https://australianlabor.wufoo.eu/forms/better-schools-petition/ and sign the online petition.

Media contact: Nick Trainor – 0407 078 138

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