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Birmingham fails to give clarity on education funding

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South Australian parents are no closer to understanding how the Federal Government plans on ensuring vulnerable children won’t be worse off at school if they succeed in abandoning the Gonski Agreement.

Following a fiery response by the Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham to One Community SA’s opinion piece released in The Advertiser, there is still no detail about how the Turnbull Government will fund South Australian schools.

Brad Chilcott, One Community’s Campaigns Directors said that after witnessing the benefits of Gonski needs-based funding first hand in supporting his son’s health needs. He was disappointed the Minister attacked him personally, instead of providing clarity on his policy.

“Far from claiming to be an education expert, I spoke as a father. However, our Learn to Grow campaign partners in the South Australian Primary Principals Association, the South Australian Secondary Principals Association, the Australian Education Union, and the Independent Education Union are certainly experts,” said Mr Chilcott.

“After reading the Minister’s response to my article this morning, I am still no closer to understanding how the Turnbull Government intends on delivering programs for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in South Australia with $335 million less in education funding.

“It also doesn’t take a genius to work out that you can’t provide as much support with millions of dollars less. Failing to deliver on the Gonski Agreement is failing South Australia’s students, whether Minister Birmingham likes to admit it or not.

“Ultimately, children like my son Harrison who have access to specialised programs they need to reach their potential in class will miss out; they will be left behind.

“We know through the Gonski review that education experts found our schools are in strife, and it is not the fault of teachers or our schools, but simply that they are not equipped to deal with the high level of inequities our children face.

“It is disappointing Minister Birmingham has chosen to attack my politics instead of addressing the void of information and fact around education funding.

“As a parent, I am looking forward to receiving more clarity from the Minister of Education about how he will ensure children like Harrison don’t miss out on a quality education after 2018 with a funding cut of $335 million,” said Mr Chilcott.

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