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Don’t miss the Gonski bus

Friday, 16th August, 2013

Maureen Clark Maureen Clark

By Maureen Clark, 
President of the Barrier Teachers Association

Shoppers may notice a strange green van at the Town Square in Argent Street today at 11am. 

The Gonski bus has completed its journey across the State to finally arrive in Broken Hill.

Why make this long trek? To explain how the Better Schools funding model (affectionately called “Gonski”) will deliver billions of dollars into Australian schools over six years. 

It’s no secret that teachers, principal groups, independent schools and parents are enthusiastic about this historic deal, the first in 40 years to restore effective levels of funding to public schools, in particular. 

Public schools were recognised by researcher, David Gonski, as catering for the most needy students in communities, an expensive operation which was not adequately resourced by governments. 

His recommendation to the federal government was for a base amount of money for all schools, to be topped up by loadings determined by levels of disadvantage in schools. 

Academic results of students were seen to be influenced by remote location, school size, income levels in the community, Aboriginality, disability, and the language spoken at home. 

It can easily be seen how our schools in Broken Hill would benefit greatly from the full implementation of this funding model as we tick most of the boxes.

But “the Gonski” is in danger! Not all federal politicians have been supportive of funding our schools based on need. 

To find out why the Better Schools funding model is threatened and what you can do about it, the Barrier Teachers Association is hosting a forum this evening at the Musicians’ Club dining room, following canapes and drinks at 5.15pm. 

Gary Zadkovich, the Deputy President of the NSW Teachers Federation, will address the forum and, supported by local MP John Williams, will lead a Q & A session to tell you anything you ever wanted to know about Gonski. 

All community members interested in our schools are warmly invited.

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