The Gonski Review was the most comprehensive investigation of the way our schools are funded in almost 40 years.
Headed by respected businessman David Gonski, it found that too many children were being denied the education they needed due to a lack of resources.
What did the Gonski Review recommend?
The Gonski review recommended that schools be funded according to the needs of their students and what was required to educate each one of them to a high standard.
Each school would get a base level of Commonwealth and state funding, plus additional money or loadings to take into account the school’s size and location and the individual needs of students (such as whether they are from a disadvantaged background or have a disability).
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Closing the Gap education targets in jeopardy without full Gonski dollars
How can the Prime Minister cut schools funding when the target to halve the gap in reading and numeracy for Indigenous students by 2018 is not on track, Federation President Maurie Mulheron asked today.
The Closing the Gap: Prime Minister's Report 2017, published yesterday, states: "The latest data show of the eight areas measured (reading and numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9), only one (Year 9 numeracy) is on track."
The report continues: "That being said, half of the eight areas showed statistically significant improvements in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at or above the national minimum standard between 2008 and 2016. The four areas with significant improvement were Years 3 and 5 reading, and Years 5 and 9 numeracy."
Mr Mulheron credited resourcing provided by the Gonski schools funding program for improvements in student outcomes in the past four years.
Action not just words needed for Indigenous students
The Prime Minister's sentiments that Indigenous children should be given every opportunity to get the most out of their education are admirable but need to be accompanied by action, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said today.
"He needs to support full implementation of the Gonski model at the COAG meeting in April," Mr Mulheron said.
At present, the Turnbull government does not intend to fund the Gonski needs-based schools funding model beyond the end of this year — two years short of the six year program (worth $3.8 billion in extra resources in 2018 and 2019). The consequence will be many schools will never reach the minimum Schooling Resource Standard that the Gonski Review recommended.
The Gonski model includes a loading for Indigenous students, to help address the Indigenous education gap. There have been many reports of the Gonski funding model having a positive impact on Indigenous education outcomes.
Malcolm Turnbull made his comment at an Indigenous business reception at Parliament House on Monday night, ahead of him delivering the 9th Closing the Gap update to Parliament later today.
Turnbull’s “Alternative Facts” on schools funding
Malcolm Turnbull today repeated the claim that school funding has increased by 50 per cent in the past decade’ in a speech at the Canberra Press Club. This figure is one that has been ‘pulled out of the air’, according to Federation President Maurie Mulheron, and has not been substantiated with any evidence by either the Prime Minister or his Education Minister, Simon Birmingham.
A NSW Government analysis of federal education funding for the period of 2000-2013 showed school spending had increased only 0.97 per cent, which was significantly lower than the real per capita economic growth of 1.48 per cent over the same period.
More importantly, any increase during this period was not distributed according to need.
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Gonski Campaign Gallery