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Gonski fund demand

Deniliquin High School teacher says Federal Government must honour the NSW Gonkski agreement.

TYLA HARRINGTON July 2, 2014 3:25am

Deniliquin Teachers’ Association president Paul Ferguson says the Federal Government must honour the NSW Gonski agreement for the entire six years.

Hot on the heels of the NSW Government’s commitment to fund the full Gonski agreement, he is demanding the Federal Government do the same.

In May, the Federal Budget revealed the government’s plan to only sign on for fours years of the six-year plan.

‘‘The Federal Government’s commitment was made in good faith before the election ... it must be followed through,’’ Mr Ferguson said.

‘‘It is really important for our state Liberal and National politicians to rally their federal counterparts to reverse the federal budget decision to abandon the Gonski agreement.

‘‘The last two years (of the agreement) are the most important and we must make sure the government honours its promise.

‘‘The money from the reforms could be used for so many things including early intervention programs.

‘‘The list is endless to what this funding could do in helping our students learn.’’

Mr Ferguson said despite the good news from the State Government’s Gonski commitment, the recently released budget is not without its flaws.

He said a downfall of the budget is the significant under-investment in TAFE. Cuts to courses and staff numbers are expected to continue.

The government’s Smart and Skilled policy, which will start next year, is expected to result in further increases to student fees and courses being privatised through competitive tendering policies.

‘‘It means skill shortages for people who don’t have the money to enter into a TAFE course,’’ Mr Ferguson said.

‘‘People may be considering TAFE but unable to do so because of course costs.’’

Mr Ferguson also said the NSW Government failed to recognise the need for significant increases in funding for public school capital works and maintenance.

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