Tasmania to sign up to Better Schools Plan Tue 9 July 2013 Lara Giddings Premier Nick McKim Minister for Education Tasmania will sign on to the Better Schools Plan or Gonski education reforms following the successful outcome of negotiations with the Commonwealth Government today. The Premier, Lara Giddings, and Education Minister Nick McKim said more than $380 million in State and Federal funding would now flow to Tasmanian schools over the next six years. This includes $250 million from the Commonwealth and $130 million from the State. Ms Giddings thanked the Commonwealth Government for its constructive approach to negotiations. "The Better Schools Plan represents the biggest single injection into the education system in Tasmania's history," Ms Giddings said. “This has been a long and, at times, difficult negotiation but we have always been motivated by the same objective; to give Tasmanian students the best education possible. "Tasmania wanted to ensure that additional state funds were directed to the areas of the most disadvantage and that there is ongoing consultation with the states over the regulations that will govern the reform process. "Importantly we needed to assure ourselves that there would be no unintended consequences in terms of future GST revenues as a result of signing-on to the better schools funding agreement." “I am now satisfied that each of these outcomes will be reflected in the final agreement, which I look forward to signing with the Prime Minister in the near future. “I want to thank the Education Minister, Bill Shorten, for his personal commitment to improving the education of our kids and for taking on board our concerns. "I would also like to pay tribute to former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who initiated these critical national reforms." Mr McKim said the Better Schools Plan would fundamentally change the way that schools and teachers are resourced. "Today is a great day for Tasmania. We will now see a major new investment into education and therefore our state's future," Mr McKim said. "This agreement will result in a significant funding increase for our education system, and help us to continue to improve educational outcomes in Tasmania. “The Government will work closely with principals, teachers and school communities to determine how these additional funds should be spent because ultimately they know what is best for their kids. “There is strong evidence to show that targeting investment to local needs and working in partnership with parents and the local community is the key to reducing educational disadvantage."