Gonski funding announced

Narromine Shire public schools are set to receive over $3 million in funding in 2018 under the NSW government’s Resource Allocation Model (RAM).

The $3,021,542 includes $973,513 for Narromine High, $1,202,465 for Narromine Public and $845,564 for Trangie Central School. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes announced the needs-based funding late last month, pledging about $80 million, or eight per cent, more funding for the state’s public schools than in 2017.

The funding is delivered through the RAM using methodology consistent with the recommendations of the Gonski review.

“This needs-based funding is making a real difference to the outcomes of students at the local level,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This funding allows schools to develop programs that address academic and well-being needs identified in their schools.”

The equity loadings under the needs-based funding include the socio-economic profile of students, Aboriginal student numbers, English language proficiency and disability.

In 2017 literacy and numeracy support initiatives were among the most commonly funded programs, while many schools also invested in additional staff to assist students with disabilities. Other popular measures included software applications, homework clubs, breakfast programs and pre-school playgroups to assist in transition to school.

Despite a real increase in funding, NSW Teachers Federation organiser for Dubbo (which includes Narromine) Duncan McDonald said the 2018 funding actually amounted to a “$138 million cut” to NSW public schools after the Turnbull government “tore up” the final two years of the Gonski National Education Reform Agreement (NERA).

“The state government has announced a $80 million funding increase for next year but had the Turnbull government honoured NERA that figure would have been $218 million,” Mr McDonald said.

“It has put them in a real predicament where they need to find the shortfall and the Turnbull government has indicated to the state government that that’s their responsibility.”

He said the NSW government’s funding model was not “truly” needs-based.

“When it comes to western NSW and Dubbo, funding has been stripped away from more isolated schools, rural schools and also from smaller schools,” Mr McDonald said.