Teachers highlight message on Gonski
IF YOU were blinded by the lime green van roving around town, with two blokes inside wearing matching lime shirts, then Frank Barnes and Mike Trotter succeeded.
The two former teachers are part of a statewide roving mission with the New South Wales Teachers' Federation, spreading the word about just what the Gonski funding means for our schools.
Mr Barnes and Mr Trotter took to the streets of Grafton on Wednesday and said the idea of their trip was to catch the attention of locals and explain to them just why Tony Abbott needed to promise to sign up for the six-year Gonski funding model, not just the four years he has agreed to.
Mr Barnes explained that if Mr Abbott adopted the six-year plan, it would mean $5billion for New South Wales schools, but if he stuck to the four years, it would be about $1.5billion.
"You can't just stop funding mid-stream," Mr Barnes said.
"It's the fifth and sixth year (of funding) that really counts."
The funding model goes up on an incline, so missing out on the fifth and sixth year of funding means New South Wales would get about a third of the six-year total.
"It's the kids who really need it who will miss out," Mr Barnes said.
Mr Barnes and Mr Trotter have been on the road for five weeks before they hit the Clarence Valley and plan to continue around the north-west of the state until the day before the Federal Election.
Other groups are roving the Sydney area and the south-western regions, visiting schools, shopping centres and mingling with communities.