Abbott declares public schools get too much money

Tony Abbott has revealed to thousands of parents of public school students that he believes public schools get too much money.

Mr Abbott told the Independent Schools’ National Education Forum:

“Overall, the 66 per cent of Australian school students who attend public schools get 79 per cent of government funding. The 34 per cent of Australians who attend independent schools get just 21 per cent of government funding. So there is no question of injustice to public schools here. If anything, the injustice is the other way."

He must immediately rule out cuts to government schools under a Coalition Government.

Tony Burke MP, Member for Watson said Mr Abbott’s comments will alarm the vast majority of parents who send their children to government schools.

“Tony Abbott has given thestrongest indication yet that a Coalition Government would rip funding away from some of our neediest schools,” he said.

“The Federal Labor Government has pledged that funding for every school in the country will continue to rise under our plan for school improvement – but all the Coalition can talk about is cuts, cuts and more cuts.”

“I want every child to have access to a great education. Our school funding system should support every school to deliver high quality education.

“That’s why Labor has committed that funding for every school – government, independent or catholic will continue to rise under our plan.” Mr Burke said.

The Opposition’s education spokesman, Christopher Pyne, has already let the cat out of the bag when it comes to the Coalition’s plans to reduce teacher numbers and squeeze more kids into our classrooms.

STEVE CANNANE: So you made the point that you think we've been wasting money by reducing class sizes.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Sure. (LATELINE – 16 JULY 2012)

Tony Burke said the Opposition is continuing to ignore the overwhelming view of education experts that the current school funding system needs an overhaul.

“Tony Abbott simply can’t be trusted to look after our children’s education.” Mr Burke said.

“Only the Labor Government has a plan for schools – delivering every school the funding it needs to do a great job, and focusing on great teachers, more principal power and boosting standards in every school.”