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Teachers march for Gonski reforms

Saturday, 17th August, 2013

North Public School teacher Rachel Harvey (left) and Barrier Teachers Association President Maureen Clark show their support for the Gonski plan.PICTURE: Emily Roberts North Public School teacher Rachel Harvey (left) and Barrier Teachers Association President Maureen Clark show their support for the Gonski plan.PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By By Erica Visser

Nearly 30 school teachers marched on Federal MP Sussan Ley’s office yesterday to demand that she explain why she would support plans to strip $39 million of school funding from her electorate.

Vice President of the NSW Teachers Federation, Gary Zadkovich, was among the crowd and later addressed teachers at a conference on the Gonski reforms.

The Gonski plan would allocate extra money to most schools in the Far West, judged on remoteness, special needs and disability, Aboriginality and low income.

Mr Zadkovich said that it was vital the public understood that they could vote for “either an Abbott Government or a better education for our kids.”

“The figure of $39 million is from the Federal Education Department. With a Rudd Labor Government there will be a fully funded Gonski model for six years.

“An Abbott Coalition would only fund four years and most of the money would not be received by schools.

“Sussan Ley has to explain to parents, students and teachers why she is not supporting this.

“We want people to understand that an Abbott Coalition government will mean $39 million being stripped off public, Catholic and independent schools in the Farrer electorate.”

Mr Zadkovich said that Ms Ley needed to explain why the Coalition’s position on Gonski kept changing.

“First they opposed it, then they said they’d only support it if the majority of states signed up, then they said all of the states had to sign up,” Mr Zadkovich said.

“Then they said ‘we’ll support it for a year’, then they said ‘we’ll match Labor dollar for dollar for four years.’”

Mr Zadkovich called on people to pressure Ms Ley to support the six-year plan.

A radio advertisement campaign will be launched statewide today.

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