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Teachers want full six years

Monday, 10th March, 2014

Teachers met outside local MP Sussan Ley’s office on Saturday to campaign for full implementation of Gonski school funding. PICTURE: Ethan James Teachers met outside local MP Sussan Ley’s office on Saturday to campaign for full implementation of Gonski school funding. PICTURE: Ethan James

By Ethan James

Broken Hill teachers have voiced their disappointment over the Federal Government’s refusal to guarantee the full implementation of the Gonski Review’s recommendations for funding.

A group of about 25 teachers met outside the office of local member Sussan Ley on Saturday morning to voice their concerns.

At the top of their agenda was Tony Abbott’s refusal to commit to the full six year plan as originally signed by the New South Wales government in April last year.

The six-year agreement would have delivered a total of $86.1 million to the Farrer electorate.

Mr Abbott has given a guarantee for four years of the agreement.

But Maureen Clark, President of the Barrier Teachers Association, says that means only one third of the proposed funding will be delivered.

The BTA has written to Ms Ley, seeking clarification on how much funding schools in the electorate will receive.

Ms Clark said that Broken Hill’s rural location meant that it should be a high priority.

“It’s very important to schools in Broken Hill ... we tick so many boxes in regards to funding,” she said.

“It is about giving all school a minimum resource base and ensuring funding is better targeted to student’s “needs.”

She said one of the biggest shortfalls in funding was in relation to professional development for teachers.

“Mr Abbott is talking about increasing teacher quality but he’s not showing a commitment to providing funding to make that happen,” Ms Clark said.

Senior Vice President of the New South Wales Teachers Federation, Joan Lemaire, is travelling around the state to talk to communities.

“The response has been very positive ... people know that this funding can make a real difference to students,” she said.

“Rural and remote schools require substantial amounts of funding to help kids have the same opportunities as every other child.”

Representatives from across Australia will meet in Canberra on March 18 to present their case to the government.

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