Schools Funding

Labor will invest $3.8 billion more than Mr Turnbull in Australian schools in 2018 and 2019.  This includes $1.4 billion more in New South Wales, $59 million more in the Illawarra region and $23 million more in the Cunningham electorate in 2018 and 2019, compared to Mr Turnbull. 

Your Child. Our Future will drive the most significant improvement to our education system in a generation – through needs-based investment in the programs that make a difference in our classrooms.   Investing in education is part of Labor’s plan to secure jobs and a growing economy.  

Labor will honour the Gonski agreements on-time and in-full, and reverse all of Mr Turnbull’s damaging school cuts. Labor’s Your Child. Our Future plan will ensure:  

  • A strong focus on every single child’s needs.
  • More individual attention for students.
  • Better trained teachers.
  • More targeted resources and better equipped classrooms.
  • More support for students with disability and additional learning needs. 

With Labor’s policy, every Australian school – and every Australian child – will benefit.  

Ensuring Australia’s workforce is ready for the jobs of the future begins in schools – Your Child. Our Future will build the education system our children, and our nation, need for the future economy.  Every Australian child should get a great education.  No matter their postcode, no matter their background, and no matter what type of school they go to – government, Catholic or Independent. 

Your Child. Our Future properly funds Australia’s schools to make them world-class with clear targets, including:    

  • By 2020, Labor will ensure 95 per cent Year 12 (or equivalent) completion.
  • By 2025, Labor will return Australia to the top 5 countries in reading, maths and science.

 The choice

Despite their promise before the last election that they were on a “unity ticket” on schools, Mr Turnbull and the Liberals have ripped $29 billion out of Australian classrooms.  Over the next ten years, Mr Turnbull’s cuts mean: 

  • $9.3 billion ripped out of classrooms in New South Wales.
  • $402 million ripped out of classrooms in the Illawarra region.
  • $198 million ripped out of classrooms in the electorate of Cunningham.


The impact of these cuts is very real – they are enough to employ 198 teachers every year for the next ten years in the Cunningham electorate alone. 

These cuts will impact every classroom in every school across Australia – government, Catholic and Independent.   Mr Turnbull has ignored the States, teachers, parents, schools, students and education experts who have all united against these harsh cuts. 

Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts will lock-in mediocrity, inequality, and an uncertain future for our children.  The schools and students needing the most assistance will be the hardest hit. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds, in country areas, students with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and students with limited English will be left behind.  Mr Turnbull can’t seriously talk about innovation and smart jobs at the same time as he is making the biggest ever cuts to our schools. 

Information summary

How much more Labor will invest in 2018 and 2019 compared to the Government


Additional Investment in 2018 and 2019*


$3.8 billion

New South Wales

$1.4 billion

Illawarra region

$59 million

Cunningham electorate

$23 million

* Labor announced a national package of $4.5 billion in additional school funding over years 2018 and 2019.  The Government has subsequently announced a $1.2 billion commitment over 3 school years (2018-2020).  Figures in this table represent the net impact over school years 2018 and 2019 (years 5 and 6 of the Gonski Reforms).

Mr Turnbull’s school cuts


Cut over 10 years*


$29 billion

New South Wales

$9.3 billion

Illawarra region

$402 million

Cunningham electorate

$198 million

*Calculated on the basis of 2014 enrolments provided by the Parliamentary Library.

School enrolments in the Cunningham electorate in 2013*

Government schools







Non-government schools







All schools







Source: 2014 enrolments sourced from the Parliamentary Library
*Figures may not sum due to rounding.

NOTE – Calculations of cuts are based on enrolment by electorate.

The Illawarra region includes the Federal electorate/s of Cunningham and Whitlam.