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Coalition accused of ‘shuffling the deckchairs’ as states demand full Gonski funding

Paul Karp reports in The Guardian (15.12.16) that States are on a collision course with Malcolm Turnbull’s government before the education ministers’ meeting on 16 December:

‘States will continue their campaign for the fifth and sixth years of needs-based education funding deals, setting them on a collision course with the federal government when education ministers meet on Friday.

‘The federal education minister, Simon Birmingham, will use the meeting to discuss school reforms but will not propose a new funding model, leaving states to wait until the new year to find out how it proposes to fund them from 2018.

‘The states set to lose the most funding compared with their six-year deals, New South Wales and Victoria, will combine with Labor states Queensland and South Australia to call for more investment in education.’

Federal government turning a blind eye to funding needs?

Trevor Cobbold comments in The Guardian (24.1.17) on how the federal education minister jumped on Australia’s Pisa results to justify dismantling Gonski, but in the author’s view also obfuscated on some key data.

‘The Pisa results published in December present a major conundrum for education policy makers. The decline in results across the board for Year 10 students are in sharp contrast with the general improvement in Year 12 results over the past 10-15 years. Why the trends in results for students only two year levels apart are so disparate is a puzzle that requires serious investigation.

‘Instead, last month we saw an opportunistic response from the federal education minister, Simon Birmingham, who was quick to pounce on the Pisa results to justify dismembering the Gonski funding plan. It was just another opportunity to repeat highly misleading claims that school funding increases don’t improve school results.

‘The minister was deceptive in citing a 50% increase in federal funding since 2003. It is far from the full picture, because the federal increase was largely offset by funding cuts to public schools by state/territory governments.’

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