‘‘It’s time to stop talking and take action.’’
That’s the message from Australian Education Union Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos to the federal and state government regarding the Gonski Review.
Next week marks one year since Prime Minister Julia Gillard and schools minister Peter Garrett came out to St Marys to release the Gonski Review recommendations.
The report into the national education system found an urgent need to invest in education and public schools or face the risk of students falling behind.
Mr Gavrielatos visited western Sydney marginal federal seats on Monday, including Lindsay as part of the I Give A Gonski campaign.
He spent some of the morning talking to commuters at Penrith train station.
‘‘The federal government needs to forge ahead with funding reform,’’ he told the Star.
‘‘If they’re determined to act on school reform, they need to get on with the job. Time for talking is over.’’
Mr Gavrielatos said every school will be affected by the outcome of funding negotiations between the federal and state governments.
Figures released by the federal government showed a failure to agree on Gonski would see NSW schools miss out on an average of $546,000 through direct cuts and lower annual increases.
He hopes they will come to an agreement before the next Council of Australian Governments meeting.
‘‘Our message to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is to reverse the education cuts and negotiate with the Commonwealth to achieve funding outcomes and necessary investment in all schools,’’ Mr Gavrielatos said.
‘‘We want to give kids every opportunity to succeed at school. It needs to be put in place in order to happen.’’
The implementation of Gonski would mean an additional $1500 per student per year, which would pay for an additional seven teachers in a school with 500 students.
NSW Teachers Federation's westery Sydney organiser Henry Rajendra said the I Give A Gonski bus will visit the Chifley electorate next month.
More on this story in the next edition of the St Marys-Mt Druitt Star (February 19).
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