Dear Prime Minister: Schoolkids facing poverty need your help to afford a fair education
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Across Australia right now, children and their families are struggling to afford the costs of going to school - uniforms, shoes, books, bags, devices, class equipment, school fees, excursions and all the opportunities they’ll miss out on because they don’t have enough money.
The Schoolkids Bonus used to help with these costs. It wasn’t just a “bonus” - it was essential for our children’s education. The Abbott Government passed legislation to cut the payment from the start of 2017, and now that it's gone the kids with the least are paying the price.
730,000 kids in Australia are facing poverty, and access to education is their fundamental human right and essential to building a better life. But our education system isn’t free, fair and equal until all kids have the tools and resources they need to fully participate in school and make the most of their opportunities.
We like to talk about the fair go, but how can we say our education system is fair when some kids start school at a disadvantage? How is it fair when a child’s fundamental educational needs and opportunities are determined by their parent’s bank balance? Failing to provide for these basic needs means abandoning kids before they’ve walked through the school gates.
Just before the 2016 election, you said "We are determined to break the poverty and welfare cycle and give our most disadvantaged kids a chance."
Prove it to us.
We’re calling on your Government to provide emergency funds to help disadvantaged kids afford a fair education and guarantee that all children have the tools and resources they need to succeed in their education and build a better future.
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