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Malcolm Turnbull’s schools proposal slammed in government’s own green paper

Matthew Knott reports in the Brisbane Times (1.4.16) on criticisms of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to split the funding of public and private schools between the states and the Commonwealth respectively.

‘Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal for a radical school funding shakeup could create a more unfair system and “perverse” incentives for cost shifting, according to the federal government’s own blueprint for federation reform.

‘It would also undermine years of work to create a more nationally consistent school system, the government’s Reform of the Federation green paper found.

‘Health and education funding will dominate the agenda at Friday’s meeting of federal and state leaders in Canberra. The Turnbull government is expected to announce some short-term relief for hospitals but no extra money for schools.

‘Mr Turnbull said on Thursday he believed the federal government should move to end its involvement in public schools, but continue funding private and Catholic schools. States would be able to make up the shortfall by levying their own share of income tax, he said.’

Dr Ken Boston, a member of the Gonski panel, has said that if Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal on school funding would, if acted on, harm children in the country’s neediest schools, the ABC reports (1.4.16):

‘We wantd to have seamless funding arrangement for schools across all sectors. This new proposal would divide them more sharply into non-Government schools and Government schools. The states are simply not able to provide the level playing field across sectors that Gonski envisaged.’

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