Ed. ministers meet to talk of lost money
A showdown is expected when state education ministers meet with their federal counterpart in Brisbane today.
They are meeting with the Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne to talk about school funding.
Schools across the country will be hit by a $30 billion funding shortfall from 2018 after federal government changes to the six-year Gonski funding deal.
Pyne had originally pledged to continue the funding arrangement signed under the previous Labor government, but now says he will cut it short.
Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones says the state has been deprived of $6 billion already, and could have to lift its fees as a result.
“We anticipate that specialist programs may have to be cut and students could miss out on other education opportunities,” she told the ABC.
“Already the Catholic sector has expressed concerns if these funding cuts go through, then they will have to increase fees.”
But Mr Pyne says the claim of $6 billion in cuts are “fanciful”, and the state would in fact receive more money for schools than it would under Labor.
“Spending on schools in Queensland from the commonwealth government goes up every year, year on year, for the next four years, which is part of the forward estimates program,” Mr Pyne told ABC radio today.
“Nationally we're spending $70 billion on school education and Queensland is getting its fair share.”
He said throwing money at schools is not necessarily going to improve the education system, given that even under the current high level of spending, results are declining.
“What will make a difference to students is a stronger curriculum, better teachers, more parental engagement and more autonomy at the local level.”
Mr Pyne is expected to bring his own battle, pushing for states and territories to make maths and science subjects for year 11 and 12 students compulsory.