IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a prime minister in thrall to voters of a good fortune must be eager to smash trade unions. And indeed in that he has been having some success, as we may plainly see. It is less universally acknowledged that the same prime minister is eager to devolve responsibility for education away from states and towards the private sector. The mantra for achieving this is “choice”.
THE national system of funding schools is helping entrench social disadvantage in rural and suburban Australia, a report has found.
Australia is the only OECD country to funnel a disproportionate level of public funding into non-government schools, it says.
As an increasing proportion of students move into private schools, the report, to be released today, says the tool used to fund schools was established to favour disadvantaged Catholic schools, but it now advantages the richest private schools.
The report’s author, Lyndsay Connors, a public school advocate who chaired the former NSW Public Education Council, said it was no longer appropriate to link funding for private schools to state government school funding…
But according to the report, Making Federalism Work for Schools, commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation, the method is now being used to increase the resource gap between public and private schools.
Ms Connors said indexation was a financial tool that was being used as a policy device to increase grants to private schools, which receive two-thirds of their public funding from the Commonwealth. Public schools receive less than 10 per cent of their funding from the Federal Government.
“The formula has an insidious effect,” Ms Connors said. “When students leave a public school, the cost to the state government of running that school stays the same. But the cost per student of running that school rises. It is this increase that gets passed on through Commonwealth indexation, where it flows disproportionately to private schools.”…
All of which is yet another excellent reason, quite unrelated to the Australian public’s sense of humour, to turn away from the current incumbents in Canberra.
Picture above from Wilson’s Blogmanac.
See Stranger than fiction: the death of “Work Choices” — though it is just a rebadging exercise — on my Journalspace.