Sunday, August 19, 2012

Council backs Gonski

THE Derwent Valley Council will call on the Federal Government to implement in full the findings of the Gonski Review of School Funding. In a report to last week's council meeting, regional development officer Jess Dallas said the Derwent Valley had below-average school achievement rates and very low retention rates. "The implementation of the Gonski Report would be advantageous to school funding in the area," Ms Dallas said in her report.

Councillor Damian Bester said the cost of the Gonski reforms had been estimated at $5-6 billion per year and the report made no mention of how that would be funded and what areas would have reduced funding as a result. Cr Chris Lester said he had not been aware of the projected costs, but he had a daughter at New Norfolk High School and the principal had asked parents to lobby in support of the reforms. It was expected that NNHS would receive an extra $400,000 and he supported that.

Mayor Martyn Evans said he shared the funding concerns expressed by Cr Bester but would be supporting the motion. Cr James Graham said there would be further debate and discussions where funding concerns could be addressed. The motion calling for a full and timely implementation of the Gonski Review was moved by Cr Graham and seconded by Cr Wayne Shoobridge. It was supported by all councillors except deputy mayor Barry Lathey and Cr Bester. Cr Scott Shaw was not at the meeting.

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