School Education Minister Peter Garrett has been unable to say how much money Catholic and Independent Schools will receive in the first year of the government’s Gonski reforms.
Mr Garrett said negotiations with both sectors were still ongoing and details needed to be thrashed out even as Labor continues to urge other State Governments to sign up to its proposed overhaul of school funding.
The continued slowdown of the global economic recovery, has prompted political leaders in the UK and Australia to propose mandatory financial education for students. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the US has made numerous recommendations regarding the advancement of fiscal literacy within independent states.
Citing the examples of irresposible lending and reckless investment and the impact of poor financial decision making on citizens and business owners alike, a skills gap had been identified in the current generation and the area of money management skills. In light of this there is a growng consensus among political leaders, that financial education should be a universal feature of the K-12 curriculum by the end of 2014.
From all across the country, Independent schools have joined forces to hit out against Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Gonski education reforms.
The Independent Schools Council of Australia has warned that they will not be in a position to provide adequate support to their disadvantaged students, saying that the budget highlighted a ‘significant reduction’ in money for non-government schools. They also commented on the levels of frustration from employer associations around the country, in the strength and stability of the ‘proposed models for funding distribution’.
Queensland’s Education Minister, John-Paul Langbroek has insisted that talks are still continuing with Canberra over the Gonski reforms. This is despite Federal coalition threats to undo any deals that are reached with the States and Territories.
Opposition Education spokesperson, Christopher Pyne has warned that a coalition Government would wind back any national plan, unless overwhelming agreements are reached from all States and Territories.
NSW remains the only State to have signed up so far, with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill saying a decision will be reached by June 30th.
Private teachers claim that they remain confused as to how the Gonski review will affect their schools. This has prompted a key union to ask the Government for clearer, more transparent information.
The main concern seems to be worry and confusion surrounding the slow start to extra funding outlined in last week’s federal budget. While $2.8 billion in extra federal spending has been earmarked over the next four years, the budget also includes $2.1 billion in savings. Which is being redirected from national partnership funding. Even more will be saved when higher education cuts are accounted for.
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