State Govts Evade Commitments to Public Schools

Public schools have suffered a double blow in the last fortnight. The Morrison Government announced a $4.6 billion appeasement deal for private schools with no increase for public schools. Last week The Guardian exposed how Labor and Coalition state governments are trying to evade commitments to increase their funding of public schools through a subterfuge. If successful, public schools, which enrol over 80% of disadvantaged students, could lose up to $2.6 billion a year. Public schools need and deserve better than this. Continue reading “State Govts Evade Commitments to Public Schools”

Have Kids Stopped Trying on PISA and NAPLAN?

This is a summary of a new Education Research Brief. It can be downloaded below

A much-ignored aspect of school results in Australia over the past decade or more is the sharp contrast between declining or stagnating scores on international and national tests for Years 9 and 10 and solid improvements in Year 12 results. How is it that trends in school outcomes only two or three Year levels apart are so different? Continue reading “Have Kids Stopped Trying on PISA and NAPLAN?”

Massive Increases in Govt Funding for Private Schools

New figures show that private schools were massively favoured over public schools by government funding increases between 2008-09 and 2012-13. Funding for private schools, adjusted for inflation, increased by a staggering eight times more than for public schools.

The huge disparity shows that governments give greater priority to funding more privileged sections of the community than improving the learning outcomes of disadvantaged students, the overwhelming majority of whom attend public schools. The disparity is even larger than that revealed by the latest Report on Government Services, which shows that funding for private schools increased by four times that for public schools. Continue reading “Massive Increases in Govt Funding for Private Schools”

New Figures Reveal that the ACT Government Has Cut Funding to Public Schools

New figures show that government funding increases have massively favoured private schools over public schools in the ACT. Despite much rhetoric about its support for public schools, the ACT Government has cut funding for public schools since 2009. It even cut its funding during the Gonski funding period, after agreeing to increase it.

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New Figures Show States Have Cut Funding to Public Schools

New figures show that government funding increases have massively favoured private schools over public schools across Australia since 2009. Total government funding per student in public schools was cut between 2009 and 2016 while large funding increases were provided to Catholic and Independent schools. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2016 funding increases for private schools far outstripped the increase for public schools.

Continue reading “New Figures Show States Have Cut Funding to Public Schools”

Another Failure of Govt Oversight of Private Schools

A report published last week by the Auditor-General found that the Department of Education has failed to ensure that the Catholic and Seventh-Day Adventist school systems are accountable for the way the spend Government funding. It said that the Department does not know how these systems distribute taxpayer funding to their member schools. The report also said that the Department has failed to adequately verify enrolments for funding purposes and monitor the governance of private schools.

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Funding Increases Benefit Low Income Students

There is now a mountain of evidence that increased funding for low income and other disadvantaged students improves student results. The latest evidence comes from a study published in the April issue of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. It found that legislative reforms in the United States that led to increases in funding in low income school districts resulted in large increases in student achievement. Continue reading “Funding Increases Benefit Low Income Students”

Audit Report Identifies Factors Obstructing Effective Use of Funding in Queensland Public Schools

A report released last month by the Queensland Audit Office provides a revealing case study of how policy-related and governance factors can obstruct effective use of school funding. It shows that inadequate central oversight and support measures combined with heavy reliance on school autonomy has hampered effective use of funding in Queensland public schools. Continue reading “Audit Report Identifies Factors Obstructing Effective Use of Funding in Queensland Public Schools”

Census Data Reveals High Social Segregation in Australian Schools

Analysis of the 2016 Census data shows stark social segregation between public schools on the one hand and Catholic and Independent schools on the other. The analysis by researcher Barbara Preston shows that that social segregation in Australia’s schools has increased markedly over the past 40 years. Students from low income families are highly concentrated in public schools while those from high income families are concentrated in Catholic and Independent schools. Continue reading “Census Data Reveals High Social Segregation in Australian Schools”

Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools

Bill Shorten has committed Labor to standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the Catholic school system. He promised it $250 million over two years and billions more over a decade. Catholic Education Victoria reciprocated by campaigning on behalf of Labor in the Batman by-election. What a cosy deal! More money for Catholic schools in return for electoral favours!

Labor claims it is merely restoring funding cut from Catholic schools by the Turnbull Government. But, in fact, it is restoring massive over-funding created by the Howard Government’s socio-economic status () funding model which Labor surreptitiously folded into its Gonski funding model. Continue reading “Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools”