Federal Budget Budget 2017: Government secures Derryn Hinch vote for Gonski 2.0

Budget 2017: Government secures Derryn Hinch vote for Gonski 2.0

Derryn Hinch
Senator Hinch wants federal euthanasia laws. Photo: ABC
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The federal government has secured the backing of crossbench Senator Derryn Hinch as it pushes ahead with its school funding changes.

The government will introduce the school funding bill into Parliament this morning.

It wants to amend the education act to legislate the share of funding the Commonwealth will pay for public and private schools into the future.

It is also going to adopt the so-called Gonski needs-based funding model.

The opposition has vowed to vote against the changes, arguing the government has cut funding by $22 billion compared to what Labor promised schools.

But Senator Hinch has told the ABC he is satisfied the changes are fair and he will support them.

That means the government needs nine more votes to pass the changes and the Greens could deliver those numbers.

A party spokeswoman said after the bill is introduced this morning the Greens will move to refer it to a Senate committee.

The Nick Xenophon Team also holds three crucial votes in the Senate.

Senator Xenophon said he was still considering the plan and wants to speak to the key stakeholders.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has urged Parliament to back the changes.

“We’ve been really encouraged that primary school principals, different teacher advocates, individual principals, as well as a lot of impartial stakeholders have voiced their support for these reforms,” Senator Birmingham said.

“They recognise that we’re cleaning up 27 different broken deals and different models of school funding to have one consistent approach across the country.

“I’m hopeful that the Senate crossbench will see sense in that.”

The bill to be introduced this morning will also include a provision to ensure the schooling resource standard, or base amount of funding per student, will continue to grow by at least 3 per cent in the future.

Earlier this week the government released an online estimator for parents which shows how each school across the country will be affected by the changes.

Among private schools, 24 will lose funding next year and another 27 will lose money over the next four years.