Literacy and numeracy funding a good interim measure09-05-2012
The Australian Education Union welcomed the Federal Government’s budget commitment to extend a highly successful literacy and numeracy program for schools with an investment of $240 million over 18 months.
“This interim measure is necessary because the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership was due to end this year,” AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said.
“But the Federal Government must now turn its focus to the comprehensive overhaul of school funding recommended by the Gonski Review."
“As the Gonski Review recommends, we need an urgent overhaul of the way schools are funded and an injection of resources into public schools across the country if we are to ensure every child is given the education they deserve."
“Public schools cannot continue to rely on one-off programs which have a limited life such as National Partnerships."
“Legislation that enacts the Gonski reforms must be passed this year to ensure a new funding system can be introduced in 2014."
Mr Gavrielatos said the results of the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership showed the value of investing more in public schools.
“It has led to significant improvements in literacy and numeracy levels among students across the country and allowed the development and implementation of a range of successful strategies that can be built on,” he said.
“Eleven hundred schools and 400,000 students have benefited from the additional resources and the vast majority were public schools."
“But so much more remains to be done."
“For example, the literacy levels of students in disadvantaged areas are on average three years of schooling behind those of the same age who live in wealthy areas. Overall student achievement levels have fallen in the last decade.”
Mr Gavrielatos said the union also welcomed the announcement of an additional $14.2 million to attract experienced teachers to schools in remote indigenous communities.