In a deepening cost of living crisis, more and more families are being hit hard by out-of-pocket school expenses.
Persistent underfunding of the public school system is penalising teachers, parents and carers and wrecking the futures of millions of students.
Only 1.3% of public schools receive the minimum funding they need from governments. Meanwhile, governments are overfunding 98% of private schools. It doesn’t make sense.
Right now Queensland parents are having to spend thousands of dollars in fees and resource costs every year.
This is because Queensland Labor has let our schools become some of the most underfunded in the country, and the federal government has failed to step in. Funding for Queensland state schools is falling short by $1.7 billion every year. This means fewer teachers, fewer resources for kids and more out-of-pocket expenses for families.
But we have a rare opportunity to change this – the school funding agreement between the state and federal governments is just about to be re-negotiated for the next five years. Write a letter to your State and Federal Education Ministers to tell them to fully fund our state schools.
New Schools for Brisbane's West Side
What's also clear is that the underfunding of our public schools has led to a lack of investment in new schools to meet our growing populations. Classrooms are full, pool and library time is limited, before and after school care services have long wait lists and demountable classrooms are being erected on school ovals, encroaching on students’ play area. The west side is growing rapidly, and we need long-term planning and infrastructure to keep up with development and densification.
The Greens and I are calling for two new schools on the west side.
Firstly we're calling for a new primary school in the inner west (read more about that campaign here). And secondly, a new high school in the Moggill-Bellbowrie area. This latter would not just mean that the roughly 1500 high school aged students in that area have a high school they can get to easily, but it would also reduce traffic on Moggill Rd as less families need to drive up to Kenmore State High and Indooroopilly State High. Additionally, it would help ease the overcrowding at Indooroopilly State High School, since it would allow catchments to be redrawn so that the new Moggill State High could take pressure off Kenmore, and Kenmore could take more of the Indooroopilly catchment.
I have written to the Education Minister and organised an email campaign to put pressure on the Qld Labor government to deliver this new school, but so far Labor is dismissive of the needs of the community. Watch this space for more action on this front soon!