Victoria will reluctantly sign up to the Morrison Government’s school funding deal amid growing concerns that federal funding to schools in the state will run out next month. Source: The Age.
Facing intense pressure to provide funding certainty to state, Catholic and independent schools, Premier Daniel Andrews said he’d been left with no choice but to ink an agreement with the Commonwealth.
Mr Andrews said while he’d fought for a better deal, Australians had elected a Prime Minister who was not going to budge on his school funding offer.
“We're really faced with a clear choice. We can either have no funding come from the Commonwealth to schools, or we can sign on to a deal that we don’t think is a good deal,” he said yesterday.
“It would seem it’s the only one on the table.”
Victoria is the only state that had refused to sign up to the five-year Gonski 2.0 funding deal put on the table by the newly re-elected Coalition Government.
The government halted negotiations earlier this year, pinning its hopes on a Labor victory at the federal election and more funding for state schools.
Mr Andrews told reporters that the plan would disadvantage state school students.
“It’s a deal that sees kids like my kids, who go to low-fee Catholic schools, get more money per student, than kids around the corner who go to the government school,” he said.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said he looked forward to meeting with Victorian Education Minister James Merlino.
“Parents will be pleased the Victorian Government is signing up for record funding for government schools, Catholic schools and independent schools,” Mr Tehan said.
“Our agreement provides Victorian schools with funding certainty.”
The development will be welcome news to the non-government school sector, which has been desperately seeking certainty over school funding. The current round of federal funding is set to run out at the end of June.