Education groups call for funding
THE call for action on school funding reform came in loud and clear from two of education's biggest interest groups on Thursday, the education union and secondary principal's association.
While Education Minister Peter Garrett has already committed to enshrining at least some of the proposed Gonski reforms into legislation this year, interest groups remain rock solid that action must be taken as soon as possible.
Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos on Thursday attacked Opposition Education spokesman Christopher Pyne for saying the Coalition would abolish any laws to reform school funding.
He said the Coalition was "hell-bent on ignoring the evidence", and would further entrench the disadvantage in Australian schools by abandoning the proposed reforms.
But Mr Gavrielatos could not defend the government on why the Gonski reforms did not make the agenda of Wednesday's Council of Australian Governments meeting.
Instead, he said both the union and the wider community were continuing to push for the reforms, likely to cost upwards of $6 billion.
Joining the education union in what Mr Gavrielatos called a "growing chorus of support" for the reforms was Australian Secondary Principals Association president Sheree Vertigan.
Ms Vertigan said if any government was serious about addressing the equity issues in the education system, they would legislate now to ensure the recommendations were implemented.
"We want every child to be an asset to this nation, every child to be productive and every child to be supported to an appropriate level," she said.
"The funding model proposed by Gonski, unlike the current model, is clear, transparent and has the capacity to close the gap between high performing and low performing students".
A spokeswoman for Minister Garrett said earlier in the week that the government was in the midst of finalising its response to the review recommendations, but could not detail a dollar figure yet.