Teachers protest approach to education funding

QUEENSLAND teachers claim they have been digging into their own pockets to make up for shortfalls at their schools - and they want change.

Instead of funding a $50 million bonus pool, teachers have called for the money to be directed into schools and resources.

Teachers across south-east Queensland descended on Parliament House on Wednesday in protest at the Newman Government's approach to education funding, including a hesitance to sign up to a $14.5 billion nationwide education reform.

The Gillard Government announced on Sunday it would fund 65% of an education reform, which echoes the Gonski review recommendations.

The $14.5 billion splurge on education depends on states increasing their education budgets by 3% annually.
Premier Campbell Newman has indicated the state does not have extra money on top of a $535 million teacher performance plan announced this month to offer.

Queensland Teachers' Union Ipswich central branch president Steve Leese believes the bonus pool could change the culture of knowledge sharing between teachers.

"They (teachers) are going to become insular, they are going to close their classrooms up so they can get their bonus money," he said.

"Why don't they put that money into education rather than a divisive method like a bonus salary?"

Mr Leese said students going without resources was a day-to-day challenge.

"We are saying to kids, go and that get that resource and it is not there, it has been used," he said.

"Little things like that where teachers are digging into their own pockets on a regular basis to resource schools."

Inside parliament on Wednesday, Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the union was playing politics instead of policy.

"We will consult with the unions when they start representing school communities rather than blindly hanging on the coattails of Julia Gillard.

"I am not confident the QTU is capable of putting their political differences aside in the best interests of our communities and students."

Topics:  campbell newman education funding protest queensland government teachers

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