Kate Ellis says . . .

I recently posted an email from Education Minister Christopher Pyne, ‘Christopher Pyne says . . .‘ where he had shamefully attempted to tell the world that the Abbott Government was the most committed government in the history of the universe when it came to education. It was incredible that Mr Pyne, whilst being Shadow Minister for Education, and now the holy Minister himself, had never read the Gonski Report. Thanks to a reader at The AIMN in John Lord’s piece ‘The Crisis that is Christopher’ comes this pertinent comment and question:

The Australian Primary Principals Association website states “The panel for the Review of Funding for Schooling delivered its final report to the Minister for School Education, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP in December 2011″. What on earth was Mr Pyne doing in his last eighteen months as shadow minister for education? Failing to read the report or consult with the panel that produced it, has earned him an “F” for comprehension. For refusing to do his homework, perhaps he needs detention.

Yes, he’s emailing all and sundry and yet, thanks to another comment on John Lord’s post:

If Pyne had been a genuinely engaged Education minister or shadow, he would surely have read the National Curriculum, the product of several years of work by the ACARA body ( apparently to be significantly reduced by this government).

Strange it is that both Abbott and Pyne are . . . adverse to read important documents which might better inform them about the areas in which they have responsibilities . . . But that Pyne had not read the Gonski report, on which he was making decisions affecting the educational opportunities of all the nation’s children is beyond outrageous.

But enough of Pyne and his falsity and now to the Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis, who has also been busy emailing about Labor’s commitment to education. Here is her email:

Dear Ken —

Fighting for every child to get the education they deserve has never been more urgent.

This week the latest international research revealed huge inequality in our schools. The most disadvantaged kids are up to three years behind their peers, and students in regional and remote areas are almost a full year behind kids in city schools.

The Gonski report was exhaustive, and it set us a clear path to improving education outcomes and building a fair system.

No matter how much Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne try and confuse us with funding ‘deals’ and policy flip flops – we must stay focused on seeing the full implementation of the Gonski reforms.

Can you share this petition and keep the pressure on to make sure Tony Abbott knows we won’t be quiet until the problem is fixed?

Tony Abbott promised before the election that he was on an ‘absolute unity ticket’ with Labor when it came to school funding and reform, but over the last fortnight it has become increasingly clear that nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are the facts:

– Labor’s Gonski reforms would have delivered $14.65 billion in additional funding for schools over 6 years, but Tony Abbott will now commit to only a fraction of the funding over just 4 years.
– States will no longer be required to make funding co-contributions of $1 for every $2 dollars of federal money, or index their funding by 3 per cent.
– Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne plan to amend Labor’s legislation so they can give ALL States ‘no strings’ funding deals – walking away from the needs-based loadings the Gonski report said were crucial to us closing the education equity gap, and walking away from funding being linked to improved teacher standards, student outcomes and increased transparency and accountability.
– The Coalition’s pledge that “you can vote Liberal or Labor and you’ll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school” is now nothing but a farce.

Can you share this petition far and wide so we can keep up the pressure? We must not let them quietly slip this change through Parliament.

This fight is only just beginning.

Kate Ellis
Shadow Minister for Education

P.S. I’ll be in touch again soon about more ways we can stand up for Australian children.

There certainly is a big difference. Kate Ellis obviously knows what she is talking about. As readers of the article Christopher Pyne says have pointed out; Pyne clearly doesn’t.