Election 2016: Glen Innes High school hosts Gonski demonstration-Video

GIVE A GONSKI: Mercurius Goldstein,Correna Haythorpe and Susan Armstead with demonstrators outside the Glen Innes High School. PHOTO: Tony Grant
GIVE A GONSKI: Mercurius Goldstein,Correna Haythorpe and Susan Armstead with demonstrators outside the Glen Innes High School. PHOTO: Tony Grant

GLEN Innes High School was at the centre of the federal election Gonski debate last Thursday morning.

Teachers, politicians, students and parents joined the school’s Principal and Deputy to take part in a demonstration against the Turnbull Joyce- government’s lack of support for the full Gonski needs based education funding program.

Glen Innes High School Science and Agriculture teacher Luke Schmitzer said Gonski funding is providing real and positive outcomes for his students.

Glen Innes gives a Gonski- By Craig Thomson

“Gonski funding is helping our students, we are hiring extra numeracy and literacy staff to help our students as well as welfare teachers to assist them,” he said.

Australian Education Union federal president Correna Haythorpe said Glen Innes schools are using Gonski funding to give rural students benefits they would not get if the funding were to be taken away.

“We know the Gonski funding is making a difference to Glen Innes school students lives, things like early literacy programs through to funding additional teachers and support staff , the evidence is that needs based funding works,” she said.

NSW Teachers Federation spokesperson Susan Armstead said children should not be used as political footballs and Mr Joyce and the LNP are playing politics with rural student’s education.

“The state NSW coalition government combined with all the other political parties saw the need for Gonski funding, they have all taken a bipartisan approach, and all we want is for education funding to not be a political football,” she said. 

“The argument for it has already been won, all parties in this election must defend full Gonski funding and voters have a simple choice.”

But Mr Joyce said the current government will provide funding for education if elected but that full Gonski funding is not a guarantee for student success.

“While funding is important, it is no guarantee of improved student results unless it is spent on proven strategies and the Turnbull –Joyce Government won't promise money first and then seek to negotiate outcomes later.”

However, New England Greens candidate Mercurius Goldstein said schools all around the Glen Innes region depend upon Gonski funding to give better education outcomes to their students.

“Schools in this region including Emmaville and Deepwater are depending on full Gonski funding to give them educational opportunities to enable them to succeed in life,” he said.

“Barnaby Joyce has tied himself to Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals here and let down our schools and communities by backing away from their Gonski promise.

“The funding that Barnaby is saying he will provide is only what treasury had recommended all along so it is not new money, so they are giving a false promise, elections shouldn’t be like this, students shouldn’t be political footballs in an election, today was about fighting for public education and a fair go for students.”