Sydney (Media Release, NSW Labor and Chris Minns have revealed an education plan that will short-change NSW families and young people if they are elected in March.
Despite promising free tutoring for all NSW students, achieving fair funding for NSW public schools and delivering more teachers and counsellors, NSW Labor committed just $400m to its ‘Education Futures Fund’.
Treasurer Matt Kean said that NSW Labor has made billion-dollar promises but not put the funding aside to deliver them.
“The Government’s leading economists and accountants are scratching their heads at Minns’ magic pudding of funding. He announces he’ll slash funding for education – and then calls it a boost, and he’s done the same with domestic violence, childcare, housing and his cage fighting policy,” Mr Kean said.
“There is a growing list of empty promises with no likelihood they will be delivered and no economic plan to pay for them.”
While the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has set out plans that are fully funded, NSW Labor has failed to set out any details or cost them accurately.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said families deserve to know the truth about how Labor would fund these commitments.
“Chris Minns and NSW Labor are making promises to families while taking money and services out of their back pockets,” Ms Mitchell said.
“It’s not realistic and it’s not honest. It’s time NSW Labor are held to account and upfront with the people of NSW, Labor’s plans are going to leave families with less money and more uncertainty.”
A key part of the Labor Opposition’s plan is to continue existing Liberal and Nationals’ policy including the landmark school tutoring program, but without the funding to pay for it, shortchanging students and their parents.
“NSW Labor and Chris Minns have delivered a blow to families, announcing he would significantly cut funding to the tutoring program to just $50 million a year, whereas our commitment will deliver $253 million in support in 2023 alone,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Chris Minns needs to come clean about tutoring cuts, which would see thousands of students miss out on this support. Meanwhile, our investment will see more than 100,000 students benefit this year alone,” Ms Mitchell said.
NSW Labor also conceded it would cave into the Federal Labor Government on school funding, leaving NSW students billions of dollars short in a re-negotiated school funding agreement. This comes despite calls from the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government last year to ensure the Federal Government chips in its fair share.
“In the blink of an eye NSW Labor has added one billion dollars to the education bill in NSW, a burden shouldered by NSW families,” Ms Mitchell said.
“This is the same Opposition which says it cannot outline the impact of removing the wages cap, again adding billions of additional dollars in costs to taxpayers without explaining any of it to the public.”
Ms Mitchell also noted that Labor’s commitment to 50 new or upgraded preschools means the Opposition will not be delivering universal pre-Kindergarten, preschool fee relief, or any broader support for early childhood education and care. In contrast, the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has already begun delivery of its landmark $15.9 billion Early Years Commitment.
“Under Labor you won’t get five days of free universal pre-K, free tutoring, hundreds of new and upgraded schools, additional school funding or more teachers. NSW families and our students cannot afford Labor,” Ms Mitchell said.
The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is delivering:
- $253 million in 2023 for tutoring, supporting more than 100,000 students
- 4,500 new graduates who have their approval to teach in NSW public schools this year, the highest number since 2011
- $125 million to deliver 3,700 new teachers in areas of need through the Teacher Supply Strategy
- 15,000 permanent jobs for existing temporary teachers and staff
- $88 million to deliver counsellors and mental health staff in every public high school by June 2023.
- A landmark $15.9 billion Early Years Commitment, including $5.8 billion to deliver five days of free preschool in the year before school through Universal pre-Kindergarten.