Australia's decline in the PISA rankings released tonight put further pressure on the Abbott Government to ensure needs-based school funding across the nation, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.
"These results are a wake-up call for the Abbott Government," Senator Wright said.
"Compared to other nations, Australia has a large gap between the highest and lowest performing students. If we do not address this, we will not be able to raise Australia's overall education performance.
"By ditching the Gonski model in favour of no-strings-attached funding for Queensland, the Northern Territory and Queensland, Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne are ensuring disadvantage will continue, holding back Australia's global performance.
"It's not just the quantity of money handed out to the states, it's the way that money is spent. If that money doesn't get to the most disadvantaged students, Australia will continue to decline on an international scale.
"Although the Mr Pyne continues to deny the inequity, the number of low-performing students is growing and today's results conclusively show Australia is failing to provide equality of opportunity to our children.
"It is deplorable that in the 21st century, Indigenous students are two and a half years behind non-indigenous students, and that kids in remote areas are as much as 18 months behind children in the city.
"It's time Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne wake up to the reality of disadvantage in Australia and get serious about a genuine needs-based school funding system in every state and territory for the benefit of the whole country."