Queensland students ‘deserve their fair share’

Students in classroom. | Newsreel
P&Cs say Queensland State School students deserve fair funding. | Photo: Davidf

In the wake of billion-dollar funding deals in other areas of Australia, P&C Qld is calling on all levels of government to fully fund public schools in the state.

P&C Qld Board Chair Donagh Freestun said Queensland State School funding was sitting at approximately 85 percent of the School Resourcing Standard (SRS) funding outlined in the Gonski model.

Ms Freestun said this fell well short of the full funding the Federal Government had committed to and, in light recent funding agreements in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Queensland State School students were being left behind.

She said all sides and levels of government needed to commit to fully funded State Schools above the minimum SRS to ensure optimal learning environments for every student.

“The Queensland Government’s current stance on achieving fully funded schools by 2032 falls short of adequacy; the timeline is deemed too distant to address urgent educational needs effectively,” Ms Freestun said.

P&C Qld said there was a further concern that the total Queensland Government budget spend on education had dropped to 23.5 per cent of total Government spend. This is the lowest percentage spend on education since 2014/15 budget.

It said the Federal Government’s current contribution of 20 percent towards State School education in Queensland needed to be increased closer to 30 percent. This increase to 30 percent is 10 percent lower than what has been committed to the NT package.

P&C Qld said the Queensland Government then needed to increase their funding to (at a minimum) achieve 100 percent funding as per the Gonski Model to ensure every child had every chance in education.

Ms Freestun said many Queensland students and their families faced similar challenges and disadvantages as students in the NT.

“Additional funding is essential to address disparities, meet diverse student needs, and ensure equitable educational outcomes,” she said.

“At a time when cost of living is putting pressure on families, families are expected to cover the shortfall in government spending to ensure students receive an education.”

The organisation said while P&C Associations across the State collectively contributed around $74 million each year to their schools, instead of these funds being used to enhance student experiences and outcomes, funds were being used to supply resources and support educational outcomes that should be funded under the basic SRS funding.

“Queensland students deserve the best education we can give them, and this cannot happen while funding is at this all-time low,” Ms Freestun said.