I blogged about the Review of Funding for Schooling last year with some hope that positive outcomes would result. Here’s the official School Funding website where you can read David Gonski and his panel’s recent findings. The headline news is the recommendation that 5 billion dollars extra funding flows into the education budget but that no commitments have been given by Ms Gillard. If the funding eventuates, it will still mean that Australia is underspending, compared to the most enlightened OECD countries but at least the the profound issues of educational inequality are being formally addressed.
The Save our Schools website had some interesting posts in the wake of the Gonski’s announcement earlier this week. This point, considering the length of time involved before funding flows, if indeed the government, who has not committed yet, fully funds the recommendations, is of paramount importance:
The weakness – a self-inflicted weakness – is that the report is designed to fit within the framework of current government commitment to the idea that no school will lose a dollar in funding. The end result is that the current situation continues. There is no additional funding to address disadvantage, while private schools continue to be over-funded according to the SES funding model, and will have that over-funding indexed into the future.
The ‘leadership debacle’ in Canberra has resulted in the #Gonski hashtag on Twitter slowing to a near halt. The pundits report that the current prime minister will survive the challenge by @KRudd and one assumes the findings will be reviewed – a review of the review – before money is allocated, if the budget is in surplus.
Of course, the current federal government is polling poorly, has internal struggles and may not have the longevity to implement the recommendations. I do not imagine Mr Abbott will look favourably on the proposed ‘Schooling Resource Standard’.
The glacial pace of change always frustrates, especially when so much of what we need to do needed to be done yesterday.