A new review of research studies has found that money matters in education. It shows that there is strong evidence of a positive relationship between school funding and student achievement and that particular school resources that cost money have a positive influence on student results. As well, more equitable allocation of funds between schools increases equity in student outcomes. Continue reading “Another Study Shows That Money Matters in Education”
After much dithering, Labor has finally delivered on Gonksi, at least for the most part. Bill Shorten and Kate Ellis have promised that a future Labor Government will fund the last two years of Gonski to the tune of an extra $4.5 billion.
Labor’s commitment is a very welcome development. It is a stark contrast to the Turnbull Government’s plan to ditch Gonski funding after 2017 and cut school funding in real terms. It puts the heat on the Prime Minister to deliver on his rhetoric about a fair go and the need for more resources for disadvantaged students.
A research report by Oxfam shows that global inequality has reached new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined.
The report says that power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. The global network of tax havens has enabled the rich to hide trillions of dollars in assets from governments. This is depriving governments of resources needed to fund vital public services such as education and health. Continue reading “Oxfam Says that Global Tax Avoidance is Starving Funding for Vital Public Services”
A new study has documented increasing social and cultural polarisation within the public school system. Not only are middle-class parents opting out of local public schools in favour of private schools, but they are also opting out of some public schools in favour of others. The study shows that the increasing divide is undermining multiculturalism.
In the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Department of Education took the opportunity to turn the state’s education system into a vast experiment in free market education. The large majority of public schools in New Orleans were turned into privately operated charter schools that are publicly funded and a voucher scheme was introduced which provided public funds for students to attend private schools.
The whole experiment has been a massive failure.
An analysis published today by Save Our Schools (SOS) shows that the Federal Government has a potential revenue pool of at least $34 billion a year to finance the $7 billion needed to fund the last two years of the Gonski plan.
SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Government could easily fund Gonski by reducing several tax concessions to high income earners and by clamping down on rampant tax evasion by high income earners and large Australian and multinational corporations.Continue reading “Media Release: Govt. Could Easily Fund Gonski Plan”
The Federal Government claims that the Budget deficit precludes fully funding the last two years of the Gonski plan. Labor is dithering on Gonski because it fears being seen as spendthrift when there is a large deficit.
However, full implementation of Gonski could be easily financed. The Federal Government has a potential savings pool of at least $34 billion a year to fund the $7 billion originally planned for the last two years of Gonski.
In general, there is no case for governments to fund private schools to a level beyond what they are prepared to fund public schools. However, government funding enables some 1,400 private schools to have more resources than public schools. It costs the taxpayer about $3 billion a year that would be far better spent on supporting disadvantaged public and private schools.
There are two aspects of government over-funding of private schools. The first is that privately-sourced income from fees and donations of wealthy private schools exceeds the total income per student in public schools. Government funding for these schools extends their resource advantage.
The second is that there are many private schools whose income from private sources is less than total income per student in public schools, but whose government funding is more than that which would provide them with the same average total income per student as public schools. The extra government funding also gives these schools a resource advantage over public schools.Continue reading “Well-off Private Schools Are Over-Funded by $3 Billion a Year”
One of the arguments used by the wealthy to justify government subsidization of their fees at elite private schools is that they pay taxes and there should receive government funding for whatever school their child attends. Apart from being a spurious argument, it appears that many of the wealthy are not paying taxes anyway.
Last month, the Australian Taxation Office announced that it has contacted more than 100 Australian parents with children at 60 elite private schools who paid school fees of $100,000 a year from overseas bank accounts. The ATO obtained information from the schools and matched it against parents’ tax returns. It is part of the ATO’s crackdown on tax evasion by wealthy individuals with hidden income and assets offshore.
Given that Australia’s international test results in mathematics and science have fallen in recent years, it is somewhat bewildering that the Turnbull Government’s innovation statement released on Monday virtually ignores school education.
The statement says that ensuring students have the skills to equip them for the workforce of the 21st century is critical to maximising Australia’s productivity, and ensuring economic and social well-being in an increasingly STEM-based and digital economy. However, it proposes spending a miserly extra $100 million on school education over five years from 2016-17, comprising $48 million on prizes and competitions in science and mathematics and $51 million on digital literacy programs.
The proposed increase is farcical. It amounts to only $20 million a year or $54 per student a year. It represents only one per cent of the increase in Gonski funding planned by the Gillard/Rudd governments over the three years from 2016-17 to 2018-19. It will do little to reverse Australia’s declining maths and science results.