- Labor supports funding for government, Catholic and independent schools
- The Liberal and National parties have a long history of school funding cuts and freezes
- The Greens party has previously announced they would freeze funding for Catholic and independent schools, and has recently opposed funding to support choice and affordability at those schools
February 2022 marks fifty-five years since Gough Whitlam first became the leader of the Labor party. And 2023 will be the fiftieth anniversary of his Labor government's landmark schools funding laws.
One of Gough’s enduring legacies was to establish Commonwealth funding for government, Catholic and independent schools, on the basis of need.
He said the choice for parents should be “between systems and philosophies of education, not between standards and opportunities".
Similarly, in 1983, Bob Hawke said:
"If all Australian children are to enjoy equal educational opportunities, the funding of all schools - government and non-government - must be based on fairness and need."
In the 1980s and 90s, Labor oversaw improved school funding, and a rapid and dramatic increase in high school completion rates. In more recent times, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard oversaw significant improvements to support for schools.
Today, Labor’s national platform restates our commitment to school funding, noting that it is "unacceptable for anyone to miss out on developing their potential because of class, geography, disability or poor quality schooling."
The Liberal, National and Greens parties
Since the time of the Fraser government in the late 1970s, to today, the Liberal and National parties have overseen education funding freezes and cuts affecting all types of schools. And the Greens party has traditionally been hostile to funding for non-government schools, announcing funding freezes for them at previous elections.
The Liberal, National and Greens parties' record in recent years is no better.
When the Liberal National government cut Catholic school funding, in 2017, Labor stood shoulder to shoulder with Catholic school teachers and families to demand that the funding be restored.
Then, in this current parliamentary term, the Greens party tried to disallow funding for Catholic and independent schools.
Every School, Every Child
Teachers have launched a new campaign for schools funding called Every School, Every Child. Labor is proud to support that campaign. Like parents and teachers around Australia, we want to see more support for public schools.
Let Terri know your views and experiences
As your federal MP Terri Butler is keen to hear your views about the future of schools funding.
If you're a parent, carer, student, teacher, teacher aide, school administrator, an operational staff member, or another person with recent experience with schools, Terri would love to hear about your experiences.
To let Terri know your views, and tell her about you experiences, in relation to school resourcing and educational opportunity in Australia, please feel most welcome to use the form below.