Hundreds of public schools displayed in Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga in fight against funding cuts

Public schools have taken over Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga today to highlight the importance of reversing the Morrison Government’s $256 million in public school funding cuts in South Australia.

Hundreds of South Australian ‘public schools’ were planted in the lawn in a spectacular display as part of the Fair Funding Now! campaign to win fair funding for public schools.

Today’s event also marks the launch of the Fair Funding Now! mobile billboard campaign in Boothby. The mobile billboard will travel through the electorate and across Adelaide, informing voters and the community of the importance of securing fair funding for local public schools.

Australian Education Union (AEU) Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that voters in South Australia were frustrated that the Morrison Government had cut funding for public schools.

“We have a very clear message from parents, teachers and voters about their disappointment over the Morrison Government’s decision to cut $256 million from funding for public schools in South Australia,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“After six years of funding cuts we know that the Federal Coalition does not support public schools. Mr Morrison’s plan will leave 100% per cent of public schools in South Australia below the national resource standard.”

“This means that every public school in South Australia will not have enough funding to meet the needs of its students for the next five years and beyond. That’s Scott Morrison’s idea of a fair go,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Today we have demonstrated the impact of Scott Morrison’s public school funding cuts with our field of Fair Funding Now! schools in South Australia. This is a visual representation of every public school in South Australia planted in the middle of Adelaide,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Each school signifies a real public school in our community and the extra funding it stands to receive under Labor’s commitment for an extra $256 million for public schools in South Australia in the first three years of a Shorten Labor government.”

“This additional funding, under Labor, is critically important for our schools and will provide for smaller class sizes, more one-on-one support and more help for students with disability,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“We also welcome the commitment of the Australian Greens to Fair Funding Now for all public schools.”

The AEU has also launched a national advertising campaign reminding voters about the failure of the Morrison Government to fairly fund public schools. This national campaign will run across television, radio, newspapers, online and social media as well as billboards in the lead up to the federal election.

Today’s event will see the Fair Funding Now! mobile billboard start travelling across Boothby, informing voters and the community of the importance of securing fair funding for local public schools.

AEU South Australia Branch President Howard Spreadbury said that, according to recent polling in Boothby, an overwhelming number of voters have said that public school funding will be an important or very important issue for them when deciding how to vote.

“More than two thirds of voters polled in Boothby, including more than 45% of all Liberal voters, said a much greater investment in local public schools was a better use of federal funding than tax cuts for high income earners,” Mr Spreadbury said.

“This is a clear rejection by the electorate of the Morrison Government’s cuts to public school funding.”

“By contrast, public schools in Boothby would receive almost $21 million in funding in the first three years of a Shorten Labor Government.”

“The message from voters is clear. It is time for a change of government, one that is serious about investing in our public schools.”

NOTE: The AEU’s national advertisement can be viewed here.

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