Capital expenditure on schools is an issue in the NSW election campaign. Both Liberal and Labor have promised to increase capital expenditure significantly, but they have conspicuously failed to say how the increases will be distributed between government and private schools. There is a strong case that the large part of the promised spending should go to government schools because capital expenditure in private schools is much higher than in government schools. Continue reading “Capital Expenditure in NSW Government Schools is an Election Issue”
With its legislative guarantee that private schools will receive 25 per cent of expenditure on public schools, the Victorian Government has joined with the Abbott Government in sabotaging the Gonski school funding agreement.
The Victorian ALP Government has betrayed the basic principle of the Gonski funding model – that future increases in government funding for private schools should be determined by need. Instead, the Government has legislated to ensure that funding increases for public schools will automatically flow on in part to private schools without regard to need.
Increased school funding brings large improvements for low income students in high school graduation rates and educational attainment, wages, family income, and reductions in adult poverty according to a study published by the US National Bureau of Economic Research. It also found that these effects were dependent on how the increased funding was spent.
New school funding figures provided to Senate Estimates show that government funding increases for Catholic and Independent schools have outstripped funding increases for public schools since 2009. The percentage increase in funding for Catholic and Independent schools was almost double that for public schools despite the fact that public schools enrol the overwhelming majority of students in need of increased support.
The US Senate is currently conducting hearings on the future of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation introduced by President George Bush Jnr. The hearings have focused first on the federally mandated testing regime for all US children in grades 3-8. The critical issue is whether there is too much testing in US schools. A huge opt-out movement against testing has developed. A key leader of the movement is Diane Ravitch a former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George Bush Snr. The Secretary of Education at the time was Lamar Alexander, now a Senator who is chairing the Senate committee hearings on the NCLB. Diane Ravitch has written the following open letter to the Senator calling on him to drop annual standardised testing in schools. Continue reading “Open Letter on Testing by Diane Ravitch”
A new academic study shows that additional funding for low achieving students significantly increases schooling outcomes. It found that a program in the Netherlands that gives more funding to high schools to provide learning support for students who have fallen behind substantially increases the probability that they will pass the exam at the end of secondary school. Continue reading “More Funding for Low Achieving Students Improves School Outcomes”
Save Our Schools has submitted a supplementary “uninvited” submission to the Federal Government’s review of the low SES funding loadings. The loadings are a central feature of the Gonski funding plan. The submission calls on the review to reject the proposal by Independent Schools Victoria to remove the additional loadings for schools with greater concentrations of low SES students.
Independent Schools Victoria has long opposed additional funding loadings for low SES students because it claims that the relationship between SES and student achievement is weak. It ignores a massive amount of research evidence showing that family SES has a very significant influence on student achievement at school. The strong relationship is one of the most robust findings in education research. Continue reading “SOS Supplementary Submission on Low SES Funding Loadings”
A new education policy brief published by Save Our Schools has confirmed the need for higher funding loadings for schools with greater concentration of disadvantaged students. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that a proposal by Independent Schools Victoria to remove additional funding for highly disadvantaged schools should be rejected by the Federal Government. Continue reading “Call to Keep Funding Loadings for Disadvantaged Students”
A debate has raged for decades about whether money makes a difference in education. The arguments are at the forefront again in the debate about the Gonski funding plan.
Opponents of Gonski claim that research shows that more money does not improve student results. For example, the National Commission of Audit report said there was “no clear, consistent correlation … between increased funding and school outcomes”.
It is also claimed that large increases in spending in the past in Australia confirm this. The Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, regularly claims that school funding increased by 44 per cent in real terms since 2000 but school results have declined. The Commission of Audit report made a similar claim.
The claims are highly misleading. The first is based on a very selective reading of the research evidence while the second vastly exaggerates the actual increase in funding and ignores significant improvements in student outcomes. Continue reading “Money Matters, Spend it Right”