NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is failing NSW school students with his refusal to either sign up to the Prime Minister’s funding reform package or give an unequivocal commitment to do so before the 30 June deadline. “It would be an educational disaster for NSW students if the Premier fails to take the opportunity to inject an extra $3 billion in federal funding into the state’s school system,” said Lila Mularczyk, the President of the New South Wales Secondary Principals’ Council.
“Some students in our schools are already missing out on a fair chance to achieve a quality education because their schools lack sufficient resources to provide the support they need.”
Ms Mularczyk said the Prime Minister’s endorsement of the Gonski review of school education funding had shone a light of opportunity on those students who need extra support to thrive at school.
“Finally, we have recognition of the importance of needs-based funding: that all students need support and that some need even more. Those students with disabilities, or from disadvantaged, indigenous or non-English speaking backgrounds who need extra support from specialist programs or staff should get it,” she said.
“Surely, Mr O’Farrell would not want to deny all students in NSW schools a fair chance at a quality education.
“We are absolutely committed to pursuing these funding reforms. The current system is broken, is unfair in the way it distributes funding and fails to provide sufficient resources to those students most in need. We have to grasp this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the funding system and, through that, directly improve the quality of all of our schools.”
Ms Mularczyk said the Premier had already penalised NSW students by imposing savage cuts of $1.7 billion from the state education budget. “Those cuts will hit schools hard and significantly affect the ability of schools to provide the services and resources that students need to succeed. They need to be reversed. Our society can’t afford for our schools or our students to go backwards,” Ms Mularczyk said. “Now we see Mr O’Farrell failing the test on Gonski. Principals, teachers, parents and students will be watching the Premier very closely.
This is a time for leadership, not politics. The education of our students is at stake. Everyone agrees our students need more resources and better schools, not more cuts to the education budget.
“Now is the time for action. The Premier must show that he has the interests of all schools and students in mind and resolve to sign up to the Gonski reforms immediately.”
Lila (Liliana) Mularczyk JP
Principal, Merrylands High School
President, The NSW Secondary Principals’ Council
NSW ACEL Executive
Chris Presland (NSW SPC Deputy President)
St Clair High School
Endeavour Avenue, St Clair 2759
Ph 9670 6700
Fax 9834 5571
Bernie Roebuck (NSW SPC Deputy President)
Finley High School
Ph 03 5883 1344
Mobile 0409 438 201
Andrew Newman (NSW SPC Deputy President)
Mobile 0407134 394