THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK
Simon Birmingham turned up yesterday to meet with Education Ministers with no written proposals for school funding, just a string of excuses for his proposed cuts.
Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Education, Tanya Plibersek, said what we’re seeing right now is an attempt by the Government to cover up their lack of commitment to a fully-funded, needs-based approach to schools funding.
“You don’t go into a discussion on needs based-funding with the intention to rip even more money out of our schools,” Ms Plibersek said.
New South Wales Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has said yesterday’s meeting was a return to the bad old days of debate about school funding and that the Government’s proposals would “break the hearts of a lot of parents across Australia”.
Education Minister Susan Close from South Australia said the message from the Government amounts to “we’re not going to give you the money we know you need.”
It looks like the Government has something to hide about its school funding proposal. Birmingham presented no papers to state and territory Ministers who were left to learn about the Government’s proposals through the media.
These attempts by the Government to cover up its intentions to cut school funding are creating uncertainty for schools, principals and parents. It’s clear that the Government still doesn’t understand that education is the smartest investment Australia can make.