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Four common claims about education funding and quality that need explaining

Alan Reid writes in The Conversation (29.8.16) about claims from the federal Education Minister that seek to undermine the links between government funding levels and education outcomes.

‘When the 2016 NAPLAN results were released a couple of weeks ago, a claim from the Education Minister Simon Birmingham attracted a lot of attention.

‘The minister said that despite a 23% increase in federal education funding over the past three years, NAPLAN results have plateaued.

‘He concluded that there should be less concern about the amount of funding going to schools, and more focus on ensuring that the existing money is spent on “evidence-based measures”.

‘The claim has been picked up in a number of quarters and repeated so often it has taken on the aura of a universal “truth”.

‘… [But] if the goal is to improve educational outcomes, it makes more sense to increase funding and direct that money to programs that support the most educationally disadvantaged schools and the students who are struggling most.’

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