The Greens lodged a disallowance motion yesterday that would see the Government’s Choice and Affordability Fund effectively blocked.
Despite harshly criticising the fund in the leadup to the last federal election, Labor intends to vote down the disallowance motion on Monday.
Greens senator and education spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said that her party is “committed to reversing the grubby Labor and Liberal deals that keep private schools overfunded at the expense of public schools”.
“If ever we needed a perfect symbol of educational inequality in Australia, this slush fund is it. All of this money should be going to underfunded public schools, not private schools,” she said.
“Instead of supporting underfunded public schools, the government and Labor are setting up a private school slush fund that has no justification, no accountability and no guarantee the cash won’t go to subsidising fees for wealthy private schools.
“This slush fund will only serve to widen the already extreme gap between public and private schools in Australia, fuelling inequities introduced by Labor and Liberal governments in one special deal after another.
“It’s thoroughly disappointing, though not surprising, to see Labor reject this opportunity to stand with the students, teachers and parents struggling in public schools around the country. It’s clear the Greens are the real opposition in this Parliament.”
The Choice and Affordability Fund sets aside $1.2 billion for Catholic and independent schools, to “support parental choice and affordability”.
Labor said that disallowing the fund would not help public schools.
"Scott Morrison’s highest priority should be restoring the billions of dollars he’s robbed from public schools," shadow education minister Tanya Plibersek said.
"The Liberals have restored the funding they ripped from Catholic and independent schools, and we welcome that. But they should now do the same for public schools."