Public education should be free - but public funding for Queensland’s state schools is among the lowest in the country.
State governments are meant to contribute 80% of state school funding, with the rest from the Federal government. But the Queensland Labor goverment is contributing just 69.26% to the Schooling Resource Standard, leaving a shortfall of funding for state schools of nearly two billion dollars every year. Kids and teachers are being set up to fail.
On top of this, schools are charging families more and more for uniforms, resources, laptops, excursions, and even for kids to enroll in particular subjects. Familes are paying around hundreds of dollars every year for a child at a state school. Given the broader cost of living crisis - with the cost of groceries and housing only going up - this can be a huge burden for families.
It's a disgrace that while we see a state budget surplus of more than $12 billion, our state schools continue to suffer with overcrowded classes, kids not being able to afford school fees, and teachers having to buy pens and backpacks for their students.
The state and Federal governments were meant to renegotiate their funding agreements this year, but this has now been delayed until 2024 - meaning Queensland schools and Queensland kids will go without for at least another year. Under Labor's current plan, Queenslanders will only see state schools funded to 95% of their minimum needs by 2032. Along with Senator Penny Allman-Payne, we are pushing to make sure our schools are properly funded, and our students and families supported.
But we know the government won’t do this without significant pressure from the community.
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