Queensland state Labor is the only government in Queensland responsible for hiring or firing teachers. If students are going to miss out, which they should not, it will be because of decisions made by local Education Minister Kate Jones and the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
It is an utter lie to suggest that the Turnbull Government’s funding is doing anything but increasing, meaning there is no reason schools won’t be able to continue to support teachers and existing initiatives, such as specialist teachers or additional resources.
The Turnbull Government’s investment in Queensland schools is going to continue to grow from its current record levels.
Our investment in Queensland schools is increasing by $844.7 million or 27.5 per cent from 2014-15 to 2018-19, despite the scare campaign being peddled by Labor and the unions. Beyond that it will keep going up, each and every year.
This increased investment is in stark contrast to Queensland Government school funding that from 2009-10 to 2013-14 actually contracted by 0.4 per cent, while Commonwealth funding increased by 30.2 per cent.
Last week Ms Palaszczuk was given the opportunity to take responsibility for increasing taxes to pay for the extra spending that Ms Jones apparently wants and she rejected that opportunity.
Ms Jones should acknowledge that, while the Commonwealth gives the Queensland Government money for schools, she completely controls decisions over the funding allocations to each school, teacher wages, class sizes, the school curriculum and pretty much every other operational decision in Queensland schools.
If a government school receives a cut in funding, the blame squarely falls at the feet of Ms Jones who has complete autonomy over how much each school receives and, most importantly, how it is used.
The fear being spread by Labor and the unions about schools funding detracts from the real conversation we need to be having. While funding matters, what you do with it matters even more. Evidence tells us to focus on the quality of teachers and teaching; the teaching of reading and maths; and the engagement of parents. That's exactly what the Turnbull Government is doing.