The Grattan Institute's Peter Goss and Julie Sonnemann write in The Conversation (23.6.17) about the federal government's success in passing its school funding reforms through Parliament. The authors contend that the passage of the new schools funding program is a big win for Australian children.
'In the early hours of this morning, the Senate did something profound. It voted to improve the way we fund our schools. This is a victory for the children of Australia.
'A Senate packed with cross-benchers and minor parties was supposed to make political compromise harder, and good policy all but impossible.
'But the cross-benchers have proved the naysayers wrong. Not only did they pass Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s needs-based funding plan – an olive branch summarily dismissed by Labor – but they negotiated amendments to improve the plan.
'... With a better model of school funding approved, policymakers can shift their focus to the harder job of finding ways to lift the performance of Australian students.
'Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham deserves credit for Gonski 2.0: he originated the plan and stared down the scaremongers. The 11th-hour amendments improve the package, and there are no special deals of the type that have infected every previous funding settlement for decades.'