“Needs-based funding isn’t enough. What’s required to overcome educational disadvantage is needs-based schooling,” Australian Greens education spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Wealthy schools need to realise they have a stake in this fight too. Every time they demand public money for upgrading a sports field or constructing a rowing shed, they’re drawing down on funding that could be going to schools that need it more.
"That's why, when it comes to schools funding, the Greens take a public-first approach: because if you want the greatest public benefit per dollar of public funding, you invest in public schools.
“We don’t need to tolerate a future where our children are distributed into the educational haves and have-nots. We have the means to break the cycle of disadvantage.
“Funding is an important part of the equation, but it’s not the only part. If we’re going to address the gap in educational disadvantage we’ve got to move the conversation past how many dollars each school in each sector gets and move towards how each school is using that money.
“We should be an educational powerhouse. But we can’t be when the quality of a child’s education still depends on where they’re born and what their parents earn.
“A quality education is a fundamental right. Educational inequality shows we’re compromising on that right, and it's hurting more than just the budget bottom line. It’s hurting our ability to give our kids the best shot in life, and in doing so, it’s hurting Australia’s future.
“Schools that get left behind end up teaching students who get left behind too.
“All the research shows that when we nickel and dime our schools, we end up robbing ourselves. No child’s education should ever be sacrificed, watered down or compromised in the name of a budget surplus.”