The lack of the additional Better Schools (Gonski) funding promised by the Federal Government to Victorian public schools has put prinicpals in the terrible position of having to cut programs which they can no longer afford. Once again, this hits hardest at those schools and communities who are already finding it difficult. The inequity of a system which means one school can run as many intervention and support programs as needed, have the latest technology, offer a large variety of VCE subjects, and offer training and support to its staff, while other schools cannot afford any of these, or even be in a position to financially support families in need with something as basic as free stationery, is intolerable and simply should not exist in today's Australia.
The Federal and State governments have a duty to fully fund the education of all children in public schools. The Better Schools funding was designed to go a long way towards meeting those costs. But the distribution of these additional funds has not been at all transparent. Most schools cannot identify how much, if any, additional money they have received. As reported this week in The Age, some schools have actually received less money than last year, even after taking into account student numbers.
Parents Victoria is pleased the Minister is investigating the distribution of the Better Schools funding, and calls on the State Government to ensure that every child receives a quality, fully funded, equitable education, no matter which school in Victoria they attend.