This week’s state budget is the perfect opportunity for Premier Denis Napthine to show his commitment to better schools and sign up to the Gillard Government National Plan for School Improvement, Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said today.
Ms King called on Liberal National Government to put Victorian students first in a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lift the resourcing and standards of every school and put money where it is needed by committing funding for the National Plan in the state budget.
“If Premier Napthine gets on board, schools in Victoria will benefit from around an additional $4 billion over the next six years,” Ms King said.
“That’s an average of $1.8 million for every school and $4,600 for every student in Victoria.”
To achieve this, the Prime Minister has committed that for every dollar the Victorian Government is prepared to invest, the Federal Government will pay two.
“Under our Plan, no school will be worse off in real terms and all schools will benefit. We cannot be any clearer than that,” Ms King said.
“The Gillard Government has made the tough decisions in our budget to ensure schools are provided with the funding they need to help lift student performance.
“All we are asking is that the Victorian Government does the same thing.”
Ms King said there was a fair deal on the table to ensure all schools got the funding they needed to deliver the best education.
“Premier Napthine needs to follow NSW Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell’s lead and sign up to our Plan which will see Australian schools in the top 5 in the world by 2025.
“Contrary to Premier Napthine’s public comments, Victoria has been given the same offer accepted by NSW.”
Ms King said Mr O’Farrell signed up to the Plan because he acknowledged: “….it provides additional resources, fairer distribution, to deliver higher standards and better outcomes in schools across New South Wales.” [Joint press conference, 23 April 2013]
“The gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students will continue to grow if we don’t act to improve our schools now,” Ms King said.
For information on the National Plan for School Improvement visit www.betterschools.gov.au.