Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

AS the fed­eral elec­tion cam­paign moves into its se­cond month, lo­cal can­di­dates have turned their in­ter­est to ed­u­ca­tion within the elec­torate. While ed­u­ca­tion is largely state-funded and man­aged, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment en­gages states, ter­ri­to­ries and non-gov­ern­ment ed­u­ca­tion providers with the aim of pro­vid­ing qual­ity early learn­ing, school­ing and tran­si­tions to and from school through par­ent en­gage­ment and qual­ity teach­ing.

Ban­jup Pri­mary School and Ham­mond Park High School are new schools planned in the Cock­burn area be­tween now and 2020, as well as the amal­ga­ma­tion of South Fre­man­tle and Hamil­ton Hill High Schools go­ing ahead next year.

How­ever, our ex­ist­ing schools are sorely un­der­funded.

I hear of teach­ers hav­ing to pay out of their own pocket for class­room sup­plies and pres­sure on par­ents to raise funds for ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. The Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment has aban­doned the Gon­ski fund­ing re­form, which means less fed­eral funds for the stu­dents who need it most.

The Greens are com­mit­ted to the full fund­ing of the Gon­ski re­forms and have an­nounced along with this a much-needed $4.8 bil­lion in­vest­ment in stu­dents with dis­abil­ity over the next four years. The Greens have an­nounced our In­no­va­tion Na­tion pol­icy, which in­cludes $678.9 mil­lion over four years to in­crease STEM up­take in schools and uni­ver­si­ties. This in­cludes STEM pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment for pri­mary school teach­ers, in­cen­tives for high school grad­u­ates to take STEM cour­ses at univer­sity and national roll­out of cur­ricu­lum and hubs for in­no­va­tion and en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills.

We need to pre­pare our kids for the jobs of the fu­ture and there will be a grow­ing num­ber of jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties in STEM as we take ac­tion to ad­dress cli­mate change and tran­si­tion to a clean econ­omy.

Ev­ery child should have ac­cess to high qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, and to achieve this fund­ing should be al­lo­cated ac­cord­ing to need.

The Greens fully sup­port the Gonksi fund­ing rec­om­men­da­tions and this should be a pri­or­ity for gov­ern­ment.

The Gon­ski re­forms pro­vide a blue­print to move away from di­vi­sive de­bates about pub­lic ver­sus pri­vate school­ing, and pro­vide fund­ing on the ba­sis of need. Our pub­lic schools should set the stan­dard for ex­cel­lence in ed­u­ca­tion.

While it is the WA Gov­ern­ment that de­ter­mines when and where to con­struct new schools, it is clear that all schools will get less fed­eral fund­ing un­der a Turn­bull gov­ern­ment.

In­deed, there will be $155 mil­lion less for Fre­man­tle elec­torate schools un­der a Turn­bull Coali­tion gov­ern­ment, which means our kids will not get the sup­port needed to en­sure a fair and high-qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

The im­pact of this ap­proach is even worse in a grow­ing com­mu­nity like Fre­man­tle.

A Shorten La­bor Gov­ern­ment will en­cour­age STEM grad­u­ates to be­come teach­ers by in­vest­ing $393 mil­lion to cre­ate 25,000 Teach STEM schol­ar­ships over the next five years.

La­bor will also set a clear tar­get so that by 2020 all sec­ondary science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths (STEM) teach­ers will have a spe­cific qual­i­fi­ca­tion in their dis­ci­pline.

This is a crit­i­cal mea­sure if we are to en­sure that Aus­tralian kids are equipped to par­tic­i­pate fully in the op­por­tu­ni­ties for high-skill jobs in the 21st cen­tury, es­pe­cially in a place such as Fre­man­tle which has a tra­di­tion of in­ven­tion and in­no­va­tion. SEAT OF FRE­MAN­TLE

The key is to move for­ward with La­bor's plan to in­tro­duce needs-based fund­ing so that schools and stu­dents re­ceive re­sources ac­cord­ing to their ed­u­ca­tional needs.

This will de­liver greater fair­ness and it means that when kids ex­cel or strug­gle there is sup­port to ex­tend them or help them catch-up.

Ed­u­ca­tion is the foun­da­tion of Aus­tralia's so­cial and eco­nomic well­be­ing and will de­ter­mine our fu­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity and en­gage­ment in the Asi­aPa­cific.

We need a gov­ern­ment that un­der­stands and values ed­u­ca­tion, and that's why we need a Shorten La­bor gov­ern­ment

3. Should Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment fund­ing per stu­dent be more eq­ui­tably split be­tween pri­vate and pub­lic

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