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Confused about changes to school funding? Here’s what you need to know

Misty Adoniou writes in The Conversation (30.5.17) about the Turnbull government’s revived enthusiasm for the Gonski school funding model, suggesting that the Coalition’s approach won’t solve educational disadvantage in Australia.

‘The Coalition government announced their new school funding proposal with a flourish, and a Gonski.

‘David Gonski was the architect of the 2011 needs-based funding model that the Labor party hobbled, and which the Liberal party then sent right down the gurgler.

‘So, for many in the education sector, Gonski’s reappearance was both surprising and comforting. Did this mean we were back to a funding model that was apolitical, sector blind and all about a distribution of money based on need?

‘Well, there is good news and bad news, and then some more bad news.

‘… If I could give one suggestion to Gonski’s review panel as they tackle this complicated question, it would be this: ask teachers what is needed to close that achievement gap.’

‘A deal of historic importance’: Ken Boston urges Senate to back school funding changes

Matthew Knott reports in the Brisbane Times (13.6.17) on former Gonski Review panellist, Ken Boston, calling on federal parliamentarians to back the government’s proposed new approach – ‘Gonski 2.0’ – to school funding.

‘It would be a “tragedy” for Australia if the Senate voted down the Turnbull government’s new school funding model, according to Gonski Review member and leading education policymaker Ken Boston.

‘Dr Boston, a former head of the NSW and South Australian Education Departments, broke his silence on the school funding debate to say the country was on the “threshold of a new deal of historic national importance” and should not allow the opportunity to pass.

‘The Turnbull government will bring its school funding bill to a Senate vote in the next fortnight and is scrambling to secure the votes required.

‘”Five years after the release and subsequent emasculation of the Gonski Report, Australia has a rare second chance,” Dr Boston told Fairfax Media. “The progressive elements in Australian education need to recognise that their argument has been won.”

‘”There are no grounds for opposition to the schools funding bill in principle, and every reason to work collaboratively towards its successful implementation and further refinement in the years ahead,” he said.

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