Western Australia's landmark agreement with the Commonwealth which will see WA become the first state to publicly fund its state schools to 100 per cent of the school resourcing standard will be particularly beneficial to Indigenous students, a senior minister says.
WA Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Education Dr Tony Buti told National Indigenous Times that the most disadvantaged public schools in WA will be fully funded first.
"This will drive real improvements in outcomes for all students, especially those from low socio−economic backgrounds; regional, rural, and remote Australia and First Nations students," he said on Thursday.
Earlier, WA Premier Roger Cook noted that the school resourcing standard is the standard of funding that the Gonski study established as "what was required to give our kids the best possible start in life".
"The deal will increase funding for all WA public schools from 95 per cent of the SRS, or Gonski – or full Gonski, to 100 per cent by 2026. And we'll make sure that our most disadvantaged schools reach that funding level as of next year," he said.
"Between 2025 and 2029 this will see funding for our state public schools increase by $774 million from the Commonwealth Government, and we're very grateful for that huge injection of funding and resourcing. That will be matched by the state and will bring us to the magical mark of full Gonski – 100 per cent of the SRS. It will deliver a massive $1.6 billion of extra investment in our state's public schools over the next five years.
"It will mean more resources, more support for our students, our teachers, our school leaders, our school communities, and will provide an important funding boost for our incredibly important state school system."
Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare said that presently, "what happens is that funding for all of those schools tops out at the moment at 95 per cent (of the school resourcing standard)... So there's a five per cent gap".
"What we're announcing... is that we're fixing that gap. It means the Commonwealth Government chipping in, and it means the State Government chipping in. And what we've shown... is that if we work together we can get this done," he said.