SA schools could lose out with Xenophon backflip on education bill

31 May 2017

The Australian Education Union is calling on Senator Xenophon to come clean on his education policy after NXT’s education spokesperson, Rebekha Sharkie voted in support of the Turnbull Government’s plan for education. A plan which will result in South Australian schools facing $265 million of cuts to funding in 2018 and 2019.

Howard Spreadbury, AEU South Australian Branch President said Senator Xenophon has back flipped on his commitment to Gonski needs-based funding for South Australian school children.

“Senator Xenophon told SA parents and school communities that he would stand up and fight for the full funding and full implementation of Gonski needs-based funding for our state, and now at the first test his party has reneged on their commitment to our schools. This will result in SA schools losing $265 million in funding,” said Mr Spreadbury.

“Senator Xenophon has said that he is committed to fighting for the interests of South Australians so why has his party voted for Turnbull’s education Bill? A plan that will put at risk quality programs already making a difference for school children in our state?

“We can’t lift results and close gaps in student achievement by cutting funding from education. Can Senator Xenophon explain how his party intends to support our Principals, teachers and schools to close the educational gap without the vital resources delivered through the signed Gonski agreement for SA?

“Is Senator Xenophon still committed to blocking the Bill in the Senate and keeping his word to South Australian families? Or will he support the Turnbull plan of education cuts which will slash millions from education in this state?” said Mr Spreadbury.

As of this morning, NXT’s website still suggests the party supports Gonski needs-based funding. We have written to Senator Xenophon seeking a meeting and clarification of the party’s position.