Government Funding Failures Have Stoked Shocking Inequity in NSW School Outcomes

The following is a summary of an Education Research Paper on NSW school outcomes and funding. It can be downloaded below.

The latest NAPLAN results show shocking inequalities in school outcomes between highly advantaged and disadvantaged students in NSW. Very high proportions of low socio-economic status (SES), Indigenous and remote area students do not achieve national literacy and numeracy standards compared to very small proportions of high SES students. By Year 9, low SES, Indigenous and remote area students are several years of learning behind their high SES peers. There has been very little progress in reducing the learning gaps between rich and poor over the last decade or so.

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Labor Kicks the Public School Funding Can Down the Road

Prior to Christmas, the Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare, announced that the current National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) will be extended for another year to 2024. It has major funding implications for public sools. It stops any funding increases for public schools which enrol the large majority of disadvantaged students and it continues an absurd arrangement that defrauds public schools of funding. Private schools will also get a relatively small windfall funding gain.

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Shocking Inequalities in School Results

The following is a summary of a new research paper by Save Our Schools analysing the latest NAPLAN results. The paper can be downloaded below.

The latest NAPLAN reslts shows shocking inequalities in school outcomes between highly advantaged and disadvantaged students in Australia. Very high proportions of low socio-economic status (SES), Indigenous and remote area students do not achieve national literacy and numeracy standards compared to very small proportions of high SES students. By Year 9, low SES, Indigenous and remote area students are several years of learning behind their high SES peers. There has been very little progress in reducing the learning gaps between rich and poor over the last decade or so.

The paper shows that 29% of low SES Year 9 students were below the national reading standard in 2022, 38% were below the writing standard and 16% were below the numeracy standard. One-third of Indigenous students were below the reading standard, 44% were below the writing standard and 19% were below the numeracy standard. Nearly one-quarter of remote area students were below the reading standard, 35% were below the writing standard and 13% were below the numeracy standard. By contrast, 3% of Year 9 high SES students did not achieve the reading standard, 7% did not achieve the writing standard and 2% did not achieve the numeracy standard.

These are shocking inequities. For example, it is totally unacceptable that the percentage of low SES Year 9 students not achieving the national reading standard is 9 times that of high SES students and the proportion of Indigenous students not achieving the standard is 11 times that of high SES students. Remote area 8 times.

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Labor Betrays Public Schools & Disadvantaged Students

The public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, today slammed the decision of the Labor Government to delay the introduction of the next National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) until 2025. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that it is an act of betrayal of under-funded public schools and disadvantaged students.

“This is Labor perfidy at its worst. Labor is denying full funding of public schools indefinitely.

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Education Ministers Must Commit to Fully Funding Public Schools

Save Our Schools calls on the Education Ministers’ meeting on Wednesday to commit to fully funding public schools by 2027. SOS National Convener, Trevor Cobbold, said that Ministers must end their silence on when public schools will be fully funded: “The inaction by governments must end”.

“Public schools are massively under-funded. At present, they are only funded at 87.1% of their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) on average across Australia and they will be under-funded indefinitely under the current arrangements. There is no plan in place to get them to 100%. As a result, public schools are missing out on about $6 billion in funding each year.

“By contrast, private schools are funded at 104.3% on average and will be over-funded for the rest of the decade.

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A Guide to Research on Vouchers

School vouchers have devastating effects on student outcomes. Full stop. .

Large-scale independent studies in D.C.,IndianaLouisiana, and Ohio show that for kids who left public schools, harmful voucher impacts actually meet or exceed what the pandemic did to test scores. That’s also a similar impact in Louisiana to what Hurricane Katrina did to student achievement back in 2005.

Think about that next time you hear a politician or activist claim we need taxpayer support for private schools to offset what the pandemic did to student learning. Here, their cure would in test score terms be quite literally worse than the disease.

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Our Public Schools in Crisis

Public schools in Victoria as we have known them for so long no longer exist. I never thought I would see the day when that fundamental and unique pillar of strength of the public education system, systemic collegiality and team work would be dismantled. It devastates me to see the growing evidence, almost daily, of a dog-eat-dog culture springing up across the public system.

It isn’t new news to anyone that we are experiencing a teacher shortage of disturbing levels, levels I’ve not witnessed in my fifty plus years in Victorian public schools. What is new, are the desperate measures to which principals are turning to attract and retain staff. wage and work conditions inducements, are being dangled in front of teachers, either to lure them out of their existing positions or have them change their minds after accepting an appointment at another school, days and even hours after doing so.

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Public School Students Are Robbed of Funding By Increasing Bureaucracy

Public school students in Victoria are being robbed of funding by a bloated bureaucracy There has been a huge expansion in the education bureaucracy over the past decade or more. It has far exceeded the growth in teachers and students in public schools. It has soaked up much of a very small funding increase for public schools.

Since 2009, the increase in non-teaching staff in the public education system was double that of teachers and three times the increase in students. Non-teaching staff increased by 60.4% between 2009 and 2021 compared to a 29.3% increase in teachers and an increase of 20.1% in students.

The growth in non-teaching staff has occurred at all levels of the school system – central and regional offices and in schools. The increases occurred under both Liberal and Labor Governments.

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Media Release: Victoria is a Failed Eductaion State

The public education group, Save Our Schools, today called on candidates in the state election to commit to fully funding public schools. National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said “far from being the education state, Victoria is a failed education state”.

“It was a premature step by the Andrews Government to change Victorian car number plates to read ‘The Education State’. The latest NAPLAN school results show this to be a mistake; the number plates should say: ‘A Failed Education State.’

“Victoria is a failed education state because it has failed disadvantaged students and public schools. Funding failures are a key contributor to the education failure.

“Successive Commonwealth and Victorian governments have failed to fully fund public schools with the result that they are vastly under-funded to meet the learning needs of disadvantaged students, over 80% of whom attend public schools.

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Victoria is a Failed Education State

The following is a summary of a research paper on school outcomes and funding in Victooria.. The paper can be downloaded below.

Victoria is not the education state it claims. It is a failed education state because it has largely failed to improve results for disadvantaged students, the vast majority of whom attend public schools. Funding failures are a major factor behind the education failure.

There have been a few successes, most notably in some Indigenous outcomes, but they are few and far between. The Victorian election is an opportunity to fix the failures. The funding of public schools is a key test for candidates and parties.

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