Federal budget sets standard for TAFE funding, public school funding remains missing piece of puzzle

The Australian Education Union (AEU) has welcomed the investment in public education in the budget presented today by Treasurer Jim Chalmers.

“This is the start of the investment in the public education system that Australia desperately needs,” said AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe.


“It was refreshing to see TAFE become the key priority of today’s budget after more than a decade of cuts.

“The Federal Government of Labor’s $921 million investment in TAFE Free Places and the TAFE Technology Fund has laid the foundation for TAFE to lead the nation’s skills recovery over the next five years.

“This investment against forward estimates confirms the government’s commitment to ensuring that TAFE is the anchor institute for vocational education in Australia.

“However, we need to secure the future of TAFE with renewed infrastructure, new and improved workforce and policy settings.

“With a greater share of dedicated funding, TAFE can continue to deliver high quality vocational training to every Australian.”

Investment to address national teacher shortage

The AEU welcomed the investment of $124.5 million in strategies to address the current teacher workforce crisis, including the additional 4,036 university places for education.

“These additional university places in teaching and early childhood education are an important step in addressing the growing shortage of teachers in public schools and preschools.

“It is particularly welcome that these places are allocated to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and marginalized communities.

“However, this step alone does not resolve what is a deepening national crisis.

“The federal government must continue to develop new initiatives to address shortages and we look forward to working with Education Minister Clare to do so in a way that protects and enhances the hard-won rigor and quality in training. teachers,” Ms Haythorpe said.

Public schools

The AEU is thrilled to see the $350 million increase in funding for capital works improvements and student welfare in public schools.

“This budget restores the Commonwealth’s responsibility to fund public school capital works after the former coalition government dismantled it in 2017.

“It’s definitely a good start, but public schools need more funding to ensure students have the latest resources and facilities they need.”

However, there is one election commitment that has yet to be realized – that is to set a path towards delivering 100% of the school resource standard for all public schools in Australia.

“The upcoming negotiations for a new national agreement on school reform must be a turning point for the Labor government. They must remove the 20% funding cap on the Commonwealth’s share of public school funding across Australia and negotiate with states and territories to provide the investment public school students are entitled to.

“To ensure that our society is truly equal and can fulfill the potential of every child, Australia can no longer turn a blind eye to the inequitable funding system that plagues our public schools.

“We are disappointed that this federal budget has failed to fund preschool education for three-year-olds so that every child can access the lifelong benefits of two years of early learning in the later years. before school starts,” Ms Haythorpe said. .

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