PM puts $184M on the table for Ipswich schools

Redbank Plains High School will benefit most from Gonski funding out of all Ipswich schools. Year 12 students from left, Abbee Wilkinson, Adrian Bicol, and David Mercer. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times
Redbank Plains High School will benefit most from Gonski funding out of all Ipswich schools. Year 12 students from left, Abbee Wilkinson, Adrian Bicol, and David Mercer. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times David Nielsen

IPSWICH schools are set for a multi-million dollar funding windfall if the Newman Government signs up to Julia Gillard's Gonski education reforms before the June 30 deadline.

Figures released yesterday indicate all but two of the region's 80 schools will be millions of dollars better off by 2019.

Among the region's biggest winners would be Bremer State High School, which would receive $13 million more under the funding arrangement over the five-year period.

Ipswich and Redbank Plains State High Schools would receive more than $10 million each and Bundamaba Secondary College almost $7 million.

Raceview, Silksotne and Kruger State Schools would receive more than $5 million.

Politcal debate over whether the Gillard Government's Gonski reforms has stretched from Canberra to Brisbane, but so far Premier Campbell Newman has refused to sign up to agreement.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the Gonski reforms only requires the Newman Government to contribute 35% of funding, with the reminder coming from the Federal Government.

He called on Premier Campbell Newman to sign up to the reforms which would allow Ipswich schools to continue extra curricular program shelping students with learning difficulties.

Among the schools who would benefit significantly from Gonski funding according to figures released yesterday are Bundamba State Secondary College and Redbank Plains State High School would benefit significantly under the reforms.

Bundamba State Secondary College Principal Andrew Peach said the additional of $6.9 million in funding by 2019 would help retain and expand programs funded by the federal government.

Mr Peach said next year, with the National Partnership funding, the school had a budget of $11.2 million.

The funding allowed the school to hire approximately 10 staff, including teaching and non-teaching staff and an officer working with students on school-based apprenticeships.

If Gonski reforms are in place, the school would have just under $17.5 million.

Redbank Plains State High School Principal Llew Paulger said additional funding would also allow his school to continue successful work-based programs started under the National Partnerships initiative.

Queensland Teachers Union Kevin Bates said these extra resources would only flow to Queensland schools if the Newman Government put the politics aside and committed to Gonski.

"Right now, Queensland teachers are being asked to make impossible choices because there simply are not enough resources to go around," he said.

Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said under Gonski, Carole Park and Ipswich North State Schools would be worse off, with state spending outweighing funding given by the Gillard Government reforms.

"Parents, teachers and principals know that the cost of education is going up more than 3%," he said.

"That's why the Newman Government increased education by 4.6% last year and 6.6% this year.

Mr Neumann said the Newman Government was putting political allegiances ahead of children's education.

"Campbell Newman, this is about the future of our kids and economy and making sure we have got cathedrals of learning in our region," he said.

"The LNP state members locally would be standing up for local schools and kids not Newman's anti-Gonski campaign."

His LNP political rival for the seat of LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding said the Coalition would finalise its position on Gonski after June 30, the date the Prime Minister had set for agreement.

"The Queensland Government has indicated it has very real concerns that many schools, including Ipswich North State School, Haigslea State School, St Mary's College and many others in Blair, will actually be worse off under the Gillard reforms." she said.



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