The Opposition Education spokesperson’s petty politicking and lies over the last 24 hours stand in stark contrast to the constructive comments by some of her state Labor colleagues, leading principals and experts who are constructively considering reforms, such as a Year 1 literacy and numeracy skills checks, to improve student outcomes.

Tanya Plibersek has shown herself once again to be all scare but no substance and no solution in education debates.  For Labor, every problem is apparently solved by spending more rather than spending more wisely

Just this morning Ms Plibersek was trying to darken the doorstep of yet another school, spouting lies about cuts to schools funding while ignoring the fact the Turnbull Government is growing funding from $16 billion last year to more than $20 billion in 2020, and also avoiding answering any questions about the proven value of Year 1 literacy and numeracy skills checks. 

By refusing to engage in the debate on which reforms best support teachers and students, Ms Plibersek shows she prefers petty politicking to discussing public policy. Our schoolkids, their families and teachers all deserve better.

The funding growth for schools under the Turnbull Government means there’s no reason schools won’t be able to continue to support teachers, including via specialist teachers or targeted intervention programs.

Unlike Labor and Ms Plibersek, the Turnbull Government is resolutely focussed on turning around areas of decline in our school performance by ensuring our record and growing levels of funding are used to implement evidence based school improvement reforms.

For too long the focus on money and funding took oxygen away from the debate about what works best in classrooms to help our students.

It’s clear that while a strong level of funding to schools matters, and we have that, what we do with that funding matters even more.

Both sides of politics at the state level have welcomed the conversation the Turnbull Government is leading on school reforms, yet Federal Labor are obsessed with repeating furphies about funding instead of discussing facts.

It’s something that should be done pretty early and done thoroughly and I’m supportive of the diagnostics checks to make sure that all kids had reached where they need to…I’m very interested in looking at that.”
– Susan Close, South Australia’s Minister for Education and Child Development, Interview – ABC Adelaide, 30/01/2017

I support phonics testing and teaching, which is already an important part of the Tasmanian literacy and numeracy curriculum.”
– Jeremy Rockliff, Tasmania’s Minister for Education and Training

Ms Plibersek is entitled to her views on school funding, but that doesn’t justify her having nothing else to contribute to the education debate.