Nobody who has been following the slow, painful dismantling of state education by Abbott and Pyne will be surprised by the continuation of the Coalition’s policy position of moving support from the public sector to the privatisation and marketisation of education in Australia. As with Medicare, I wouldn't be surprised to see co-payments for public schools cropping up in the near future.
The government in its education budget, as I read it in the online newspapers ( The Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian this evening ) has pulled funding from programs such as the Australian Baccalaureate, which was designed to support students who would be moving from one state to another such as families of defense and related personnel, and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) but bizarrely it has reinvested funds in areas unrelated to school education while finally killing Gonski for good by only funding for the next four minimal years while continuing programs that support private education.
Gonski is finally, painfully DEAD!
Who is to blame for that? The previous government for taking so long to respond to the original report? Or Abbott and Pyne for telling the electorate that they would support Gonski and that 'a vote for them was the same as a vote for Labor regarding school funding'? Probably a mixture of both but it was difficult for the Gillard government to deal with deliberately recalcitrant liberal state governments in their final months in power. Those that voted for Abbott and Pyne thinking they'd get the Gonski reforms delivered I imagine will feel cheated. Personally I never believed them. ( Remember Pyne calling Gonski a 'conski'?) Refer to my earlier blogs.
The Government will provide an additional $245.3 million over five years (including $1.5 million in 2018‑19) to continue the National School Chaplaincy Programme until December 2018. This is additional money to support the work of the church instead of employing skilled and accredited social workers and counsellors. Again it is an instance of Pyne and Abbott performing as expected.
They’re also providing more money to funding for Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme (AGQTP)$6.8 million in 2014‑15 to specific non‑government schools for the additional costs associated with boarding and educating Indigenous students from remote communities. This is another bonus for private education as more than 80% of indigenous students attend public schools!
I will write more on this subject when more is digested.
Interesting report entitled: Who's Afraid of a Public School?http://www.percapita.org.au/_dbase_upl/PublicEdReport.pdf