Vic Govt Has Failed to Justify Shepparton Super School

The Victorian Labor Government has announced that it will merge four secondary schools in Shepparton and Mooroopna into a new “super school” of about 3,000 students. The merger is being strongly resisted by of the Stop Shepparton’s Super School Facebook group. A community meeting earlier this month called for an independent review of the decision. Many parents are concerned because the merger will restrict public school options in the area.

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The Spending Arms Race Between Elite Private Schools Is Out of Control

The arms race in opulence and ostentation between elite private schools is out of control as revealed by a new ABC investigation. Australia’s four richest schools spent more on new facilities than the poorest 1,800 schools combined between 2013 and 2017. Elite private schools spend millions and millions in competing over lavish facilities. This arms race is fuelled by big increases in government funding.

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The Facts About School Funding in Tasmania

Total government funding per student in Tasmanian private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by about seven times that for public schools between 2009 and 2017. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increase for private schools was about 50% more than that for public schools.

The Tasmanian Government cut real funding by $598 (-6.3%) per student between 2009 and 2013. It increased real funding significantly in the Gonski period of 2013 to 2017 by $465 per student, but not sufficiently to offset the earlier cut. As a result, public schools had far fewer human and material resources per student in 2017 than in 2009 and far less than available in Independent private schools and a little less than in Catholic schools.

Overall, government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring the more privileged, better-off school sectors and students. About 85% of disadvantaged students in Tasmania are in public schools and 96% of disadvantaged schools are public schools.

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How Do Teachers Teach–Then and Now

The following article by Larry Cuban, Professor of Education at Stanford University, provides an interesting historical perspective on teaching methods. Comment is invited on its application to Australia. It is republished with permission from Professor Cuban’s blog.

Most policymakers, researchers, and parents believe that good teachers and teaching are the keys to school improvement yet these very same folks know little about how teachers teach daily. And that is the rub. Good teachers and teaching are the agreed-upon policy solutions to both high- and low-performing students yet reliable knowledge of how most teachers teach and what are the best ways of teaching in either affluent or low-income, minority schools are absent among policymakers, researchers, and parents.

How do most teachers teach?

The short answer is that teachers draw from two traditions of teaching.

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Teacher Workload Has Increased in Australia

New figures released by the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018 show that teacher workload in Australia increased significantly since 2013. The increase was one of the largest in the OECD.

The new figures confirm the concerns of teacher organisations and teachers about their increasing workload. The increased workload, especially time spent on management and administration, and the stress it places on their lives is a reason reported by many teachers for leaving the profession.

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The Facts About School Funding in South Australia

Total government funding per student in South Australian private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by nearly ten times that for public schools between 2009 and 2017. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increase for private schools was about twenty times that for public schools.

While the South Australian Government increased current dollar funding of public schools between 2009 and 2017, it cut real funding by $230 (-2.5%) per student. In the Gonski funding period it cut public school funding by $156 (-1.7%) per student. The cuts mean that public schools have fewer human and material resources per student.

The SA Government took the opportunity of increased Commonwealth funding for public schools to cut its own real funding of public schools while increasing funding for private schools.

Government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring the more privileged, better-off school sectors and students. About 83% of disadvantaged students in South Australia are in public schools and 98% of disadvantaged schools are public schools

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The Facts About School Funding in Western Australia

Total government funding per student in Western Australian private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by nearly $1,200 per student between 2009 and 2017 while funding for public schools was cut by even more than the private school increases. During the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 funding for public schools was cut but increased for private schools.

While the Western Australian Government increased current dollar funding of public schools between 2009 and 2017, it cut real funding by an incredible $1,575 (-13.7%) per student. In the Gonski funding period it cut public school funding by $737 (-6.9%) per student. The cuts mean that public schools have far fewer human and material resources per student.

The Western Australian Government took the opportunity of increased Commonwealth funding for public schools to cut its own real funding of public schools.

Government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring the more privileged, better-off school sectors and students. Nearly 90% of disadvantaged students in Western Australia are in public schools.

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The Facts About School Funding in Queensland

Total government funding per student in Queensland private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by over three times that for public schools between 2009 and 2017. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increase for private schools was over double that for public schools.

While the Queensland Government increased current dollar funding of public schools between 2009 and 2017, it cut real funding by $211 (-2.5%) per student. In the Gonski funding period it cut public school funding by $340 (-3.9%) per student. The cuts mean that public schools have fewer human and material resources per student.

As in the case of most other states, the Queensland Government took the opportunity of increased Commonwealth funding for public schools to cut its own real funding of public schools while increasing funding for private schools.

Government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring the more privileged, better-off school sectors and students. About 87% of disadvantaged students in Queensland are in public schools and 89% of disadvantaged schools are public schools.

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Skulduggery by the Morrison & Andrews Governments Robs Victorian Public Schools of Billions

The new funding agreement between the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments signed last month will rob the state’s public schools of billions over the next ten years. Cumulative under-funding will amount to over $17 billion by 2028. As with the other Commonwealth/State agreements, the Victorian agreement is heavily biased against public schools and in favour of private schools. Public schools will be under-funded indefinitely while private schools will be fully funded by 2023.

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The Facts About School Funding in Victoria

Total government funding per student in Victorian private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by over $1,500 per student between 2009 and 2017 while funding for public schools was cut. Government funding of public schools increased during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017, but it was significantly less than the increase for private schools.

Commonwealth Government funding increases massively favoured private schools in both periods. The Victorian Government cut real funding of public schools by $530 (-6.8%) per student between 2009 and 2013. It increased real funding in the Gonski period, but not sufficiently to offset the earlier cut. As a result, public schools had far fewer human and material resources per student in 2017 than in 2009 and far less than available in private schools.

Government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring the more privileged, better-off school sectors and students. Over 80% of disadvantaged students in Victoria are in public schools and nearly 90% of disadvantaged schools are public schools.

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