David Gonski urges Abbott not to strip $30b from education

THE author of Labor's school funding reforms has urged the Abbott government not to strip $30 billion from education by lowering growth in school spending.

David Gonski, the lead author of the funding reforms written under the Gillard government, said on Wednesday night he hoped the current government would not cut funding.

In a speech in Melbourne, Mr Gonski said he sincerely hoped the budget cuts outlined earlier this month would not eventuate.

He said to say that many state schools across the nation were in need of more help "both in money and tender loving care" was "an understatement".

"There needs to be a commitment to a properly funded needs-based aspirational system and a failure to do so, in my opinion, would be amazingly to our detriment," he said.

Mr Gonski's speech marked his first foray into the public debate over schools funding since the budget, and lends public support to calls from the education sector and state governments not to cut funding.

It also follows comments from co-author Dr Ken Boston that inaction on implementing the Gonski funding reforms would see Australian education remain an "international basket case".

Dr Boston told a Senate hearing last week he believed the current government did not seem to have "the political will" to go ahead with the reforms.

While Education Minister Christopher Pyne has promised to continue the same amount of funding until 2017, the funding formula would change as part of a review already underway.

Topics:  education federal budget 2014 tony abbott

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