Beyond the Classroom resources for schools, students - Page 9 of 16 - Education Matters
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Election Week One: Turnbull’s $73.6bn promise

The marathon campaign in the lead up to July’s Federal election has already yielded some indication of what to expect from the major parties with regard to education spend and policy.

As mentioned in our update of two weeks ago, the Federal Budget announced an increase of $1.2 billion over three years for school funding, but it comes with a number of caveats.

The amount was announced as part of an overall budgetary commitment of $73.6 billion – the total amount the Commonwealth is planning to provide schools over the next four years. The majority of this money was already budgeted for.

The additional $1.2 billion promised by the Coalition will be delivered using state and territory assessments of the neediest schools, as was recommended by the Gonski review, along with a number of other conditions (such as a standardised Year 1 assessment of literacy, phonics and numeracy against national standards, as well as a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy skills for Year 12 students).

While the additional funding has been welcomed, it has also been noted that it only partially restores the funding cuts introduced by the Coalition in 2014.

By comparison, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Labor have promised an additional $4.5 billion over two years, which is slated to include $1.8 billion for regional and country classrooms.

While more money sounds like it will produce a greater windfall for Australian schools, the priority in which they receive these funds is still determined by the individual states and territories, not by the Commonwealth, thereby producing markedly varied results across the country.

The argument being made by the Coalition and a host of pundits is simply that increasing funding does not necessarily increase the performance of schools and, in turn, the academic performance of students themselves. However, this is exactly what the Gonski review was supposed to achieve and it is this element of the academic system that needs to discussed in detail by the major parties.

For yet another election campaign, we can all expect to hear the term ‘Gonski’ much more in the weeks to come.

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Melbourne Discovery Groups: Solutions for school accommodation

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Federal budget 2016

Budget 2016: Mixed bag for education spending

The Federal Government has released its budget for the year ahead, announcing a total spend in education of $33.7 billion, yet not all areas of education are set to benefit.

Despite the spending, the government announced cuts of $152.2 million over four years to the Higher Education Participation Program, as well as $20.9 million over four years from the Promotions of Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Program.

By comparison the $33.7 billion in spending includes an increase of $1.2 billion of school funding, to be delivered between 2018 and 2020, as well as $118.2 million over the next two years going towards students with a disability.

As pointed our by Senior Lecturer in Education Policy at the University of Melbourne, Glenn Savage, the increase in funds falls ‘short of the $4.5 billion promised by Labor between 2018-19 as part of the Gonski reform model’.

However, the increase is nevertheless likely to be warmly received by educators who have been fearing cuts, with the government previously hinting it might cease all funding to public schools altogether.

‘The funding increase is out of step with education minister Simon Birmingham’s repeated claim that funding does not matter as much as other features of schooling such as curriculum or quality teachers. If this were truly the case, then why the funding increase?’ Savage questions in a brief letter to SBS News.

What funding does exist for schools is expected to be delivered on a needs-based plan. which may require students as young as five or six facing tests in order to determine whether they qualify for extra assistance.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said these changes have been introduced to improve student performance.

‘It is completely unacceptable that the performance of our students in fundamental skills like literacy and numeracy continues to slip even while our funding continues to significantly increase,’ Birmingham told the Sunday Telegraph.

The changes also include minimum standards for students to pass Year 12, as well as changes to teacher pay structure, with performance set to be rewarded over length of service.

Several issues have also been deferred in this budget, with higher education reform pushed back one year and little to be seen for early learning.

Queensland school funding cuts

Education Minister takes aim at Queensland's Labor Government over school funding

news that the Federal Government is contemplating changing the funding model for public schools, a round of finger pointing has ensued, most recently culminating in the Federal Education Minister attacking the Queensland State Government’s stance on the matter. In recent weeks, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull raised the prospect of the Commonwealth withdrawing funding for the public school system and instead allowing the state’s to raise funds through their own taxes. “It’s not that Mr Turnbull and his Liberals can’t afford to fund public schools, it is that they’re choosing not to,” said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, in a subsequent statement. It’s understood that should the changes go ahead, the Commonwealth would continue to fund private and independent schools. In Queensland, the issue was brought under a broader discussion on income tax-sharing, with State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying the Turnbull Government has underestimated her state’s needs and intends to push for further funding, despite securing $445 million for hospitals in the current deal. The Federal Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham has denied Ms Palaszczuk’s stance, saying that “it is an utter lie” to suggest Federal funding for Queensland schools will decrease. “Our investment in Queensland schools is increasing by $844.7 million or 27.5 per cent from 2014-15 to 2018-19, despite the scare campaign being peddled by Labor and the unions.  Beyond that it will keep going up, each and every year,” Mr Birmingham said in a statement, released yesterday. “This increased investment is in stark contrast to Queensland Government school funding that from 2009-10 to 2013-14 actually contracted by 0.4 per cent, while Commonwealth funding increased by 30.2 per cent.” Mr Birmingham asserts that all allocation of Queensland school funding is controlled by the State and its Education Minister, Kate Jones. “If a government school receives a cut in funding, the blame squarely falls at the feet of Ms Jones who has complete autonomy over how much each school receives and, most importantly, how it is used.”    ]]>

Queensland school funding cuts

Education Minister takes aim at Queensland’s Labor Government over school funding

Following the news that the Federal Government is contemplating changing the funding model for public schools, a round of finger pointing has ensued, most recently culminating in the Federal Education Minister attacking the Queensland State Government’s stance on the matter.

In recent weeks, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull raised the prospect of the Commonwealth withdrawing funding for the public school system and instead allowing the state’s to raise funds through their own taxes.

“It’s not that Mr Turnbull and his Liberals can’t afford to fund public schools, it is that they’re choosing not to,” said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, in a subsequent statement.

It’s understood that should the changes go ahead, the Commonwealth would continue to fund private and independent schools.

In Queensland, the issue was brought under a broader discussion on income tax-sharing, with State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying the Turnbull Government has underestimated her state’s needs and intends to push for further funding, despite securing $445 million for hospitals in the current deal.

The Federal Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham has denied Ms Palaszczuk’s stance, saying that “it is an utter lie” to suggest Federal funding for Queensland schools will decrease.

“Our investment in Queensland schools is increasing by $844.7 million or 27.5 per cent from 2014-15 to 2018-19, despite the scare campaign being peddled by Labor and the unions.  Beyond that it will keep going up, each and every year,” Mr Birmingham said in a statement, released yesterday.

“This increased investment is in stark contrast to Queensland Government school funding that from 2009-10 to 2013-14 actually contracted by 0.4 per cent, while Commonwealth funding increased by 30.2 per cent.”

Mr Birmingham asserts that all allocation of Queensland school funding is controlled by the State and its Education Minister, Kate Jones.

“If a government school receives a cut in funding, the blame squarely falls at the feet of Ms Jones who has complete autonomy over how much each school receives and, most importantly, how it is used.”

 

 

Student takes exam

Queensland students face new ‘high-stakes’ test in Year 12

This week, Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk and Education Minister Kate Jones announced a significant change to the state’s curriculum with a shift to external assessments for senior students following the decision to crap Overall Position (OP) scores.

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