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Gonski vans hit road

Thursday, 4th July, 2013

By Erica Visser

Public school teachers across NSW have a “very important” job to do during the coming weeks, the teachers union has alerted.

With fears that the Federal Election could ruin the introduction of the Gonski funding scheme, the NSW Teachers Federation has launched green “Gonski vans” to travel the State informing communities of the scheme.

The Gonski system uses a method of funding where schools are given a base loading plus additional funds depending on factors such as Aboriginality, disability and socio-economic status.

President of the Barrier Teachers Association, Maureen Clark, previously said that schools in the Far West had the most to gain from Gonski, given isolation and disadvantage.

The NSW Government has signed on to contribute to Gonski but the Federal Government would not go through with it unless all states did.

Further, Coalition Leader Tony Abbott does not support the scheme.

Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the next phase of the ‘Guarantee Gonski’ campaign was launched because there is a still a risk the scheme would not be implemented.

“We must inform the community that there are still threats - that currently the leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, is playing a spoiling role by saying that if he were elected to government at the next federal election that he would not honour the national agreement and would be seeking a mandate to repeal the legislation and reintroduce a model of funding that even David Gonski said was broken and needed fixing urgently,” Mr Mulheron said.

“We need to make sure that any candidate in the upcoming federal election is prepared to have the courage to put their party politics aside and say: ‘I am prepared to enter the Australian Parliament and act in the national interest by supporting a fairer model of funding for our school children.’

“There’s a very clear choice that the Australian community has.”

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