Deputy Chair of the Education and Employment Reference Committee,
Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie said Coalition Senators are providing
additional information to the main report to ensure fair accounting regarding
levels of Commonwealth funding.
“What is not spelt out in the report is that although the
Commonwealth provides a substantial financial contribution to school education,
it is not the primary funder of schools in Australia that is the responsibility
of the States.
“No one is ducking anything here but it is important that the
level of funding is included. The Commonwealth provides one third of recurrent
school funding, the States and Territories the rest”, Senator McKenzie said.
She said it is also important to spell out that the government
will commit to funding schools after considering all funding models, not simply
one the Labor Party is pushing.
“The Government is already committed to supporting students with a
disability on the basis of need with record levels already committed to
supporting students with a disability.” Senator McKenzie said.
The Commonwealth is contributing more than $5 billion from
2014-17, rising by a hundred million dollars a year. The funding is applied
according to Students with Disability Loading (SWD) introduced by this
government. It is exactly the same as the loading formulated by the previous
Labor Government in accordance with the Australian Education Act 2013.
“I think it is a great shame that Labor has decided to make cheap
political points through this report when I had hoped there could be a
bi-partisan approach, something Coalition Senators were keen on.
“Students with a disability, their parents and schools have the
support of this government, something that is evidenced by the continuing
increasing level of funding.
“The committee heard concerning evidence that needs to be
addressed with care and compassion not political rhetoric and it is extremely
disappointing that they have chosen to ignore the best interests of students
with a disability, parents and schools”, Senator McKenzie said.