Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gillard Seeks 3% School Funding Rise

by AAP, 21st Century News:

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has challenged all states and territories to commit to a three per cent rise in school spending each year.

Visiting a Catholic college in Perth on Tuesday, Ms Gillard said her national plan for school improvement needed the co-operation of premiers and chief ministers.

Federal education officials have been in talks with Catholic and independent school chiefs ahead of the Council of Australian Governments meeting in April which is expected to sign off on the plan.

“During all of those discussions it is becoming increasingly clear that in too many states around the nation we have seen cutbacks to funding going into schools,” Ms Gillard told reporters.

“Those cutbacks not only hurt directly but they actually affect the indexation funding formula for the future. So I’ve got a clear message to state governments around the nation and that is to stop the cutbacks and it’s also to properly index their funding for the future. They should be offering an indexation arrangement of at least three per cent for the future.”

Ms Gillard also dismissed concerns that a Canberra-based bureaucracy would be running the school system, which varied from state to state.

“Our drive here is not for a national uniform model, but a nationally consistent model, recognising the flexibility that jurisdictions need to get on and manage their schools,” she said.

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