Big Divide Between Haves and Have-Nots in Australian Education

The following is an abridged media release announcing a new report by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC) at Curtin University on inequality in education in Australia.

The BCEC’s latest report, Educate Australia Fair?: Education Inequality in Australia, examines the extent of educational disadvantage across and within Australia’s states and territories and among vulnerable groups.

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Gonski 2.0 Entrenches Structural Incoherence and Inequity in School Funding

A basic flaw of Gonski 2.0 is that it abandons developing a national approach to school funding. Instead, it entrenches the structural incoherence of school funding so heavily criticised in the original Gonski report. It will only enhance inconsistencies in funding and ensure that the school funding wars between the Commonwealth and the States continue.

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Special Over-Funding Deal for ACT Catholic Systemic Schools to Continue

The Turnbull Government has done a back-flip on its promise to abolish all special funding deals for private schools. The Commonwealth Department of Education has announced that the special funding deal for ACT Catholic systemic schools will be maintained for another four years as a “temporary” assistance package. It will cost the taxpayer about $200 million. It took only four weeks for the Government to cave in to Catholic school demands to keep their massive over-funding.

Catholic systemic schools in Canberra are vastly over-funded by the Commonwealth Government. In 2016, the over-funding amounted to $50 million. Several schools are over-funded by more than $4 million each. Two schools are getting over four times what they are entitled to and several others are getting over double their entitlement. Several receive $5,000 per student or more in over-funding.

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Tasmanian Governments Have Slashed Funding of Public Schools

The following is a report by Save Our Schools presented to the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Education Union on the funding of public schools in Tasmania. It can be downloaded below.

Government funding of private schools in Tasmania has increased by seven times that for public schools in recent years. The Tasmanian Labor Government slashed state funding for public schools between 2009-10 and 2013-14 and the Liberal Government cut further in 2014-15. Overall, public school funding increased slightly but this was due to increased Commonwealth funding and it was far outstripped by a large increase in total government funding of private schools.

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Tax Concessions for the Wealthy Deny Adequate Funding for Disadvantaged Students

The Turnbull Government claims that the Budget deficit precludes fully funding the last two years of the Gonski plan. However, the latest Tax Expenditures Statement by the Federal Treasury shows that fully funding Gonski is easily affordable if the Government reduced tax concessions for wealthy. Its failure to do so shows that this Government continues to put the interests of the wealthy above those of disadvantaged students.

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Private School Vouchers Fail the Test

A new review of voucher programs in private schools has found that they have failed to make any significant improvements in student achievement, but add to the risks of increasing social segregation and the loss of a common, secular educational experience. It says that there are more effective ways of improving student results than by using voucher programs.

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The Barnett Govt Has Taken the Axe to WA Public Schools

The claims by the Western Australian Government that it has massively increased school funding in recent years are highly misleading. The fact is that the Barnett Government has taken to the axe to funding of public schools while boosting its funding of private schools. It has abandoned disadvantaged students, the vast majority of whom attend public schools.

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Australia Has High Quality Teaching but Too Much Out-of-Field Teaching

There was much wringing of hands at the continuing decline in Australia’s reading, mathematics and science results revealed by the results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) published last December. Unfortunately, there was little in the way of constructive analysis of the factors behind the declines.

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Public School Enrolments Increase

New school enrolment data show a reversal of the steady drift of students from public to private schools over the past 40 years. Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week show that the share of public school enrolments increased from 60.05% of all enrolments in 2015 to 60.09% in 2016. This is the first time the public school share has increased since the 1970s.

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Australia Has High Quality Teaching But Too Much Out-of-Field Teaching

There was much wringing of hands at the continuing decline in Australia’s reading, mathematics and science results revealed by the results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) published last December. Unfortunately, there was little in the way of constructive analysis of the factors behind the declines.

Continue reading “Australia Has High Quality Teaching But Too Much Out-of-Field Teaching”