Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Lots of spin but no sign of a turn around regarding $30 billion in education spending cuts

Labor’s shadow education minister Kate Ellis provides an insight into the spin used by government ministers when discussing the Abbott-Turnbull $30b cuts to Australia’s vital education sector.

Ellis says the government has delivered “blow after blow” to any hope that it might reconsider cuts to Australia’s schools.She has analysed the spin and provided a translation:

MATHIAS CORMANN: So from 2018 onwards the indexation formula is…CPI plus an element to acknowledge enrolment growth.

What he really means – We are cutting $30b from education over the next 10 years.

MATHIAS CORMANN: That is the policy position of the government, and I think you’ll find that the education minister and I are in violent agreement.

What he really means – We are cutting $30b from education over the next 10 years.

[Senate Estimates, February 9]“The government has no plan…except to cut $30b.”

SIMON BIRMINGHAM: We have different trajectories of growth; that is a statement of fact.

What he really means – We are cutting $30b from education over the next 10 years.

DAVID SPEERS: But not beyond what was in the Budget?

SIMON BIRMINGHAM: No that’s not on the table at this stage…we are not proposing any change to the Budget.

What he really means – We are cutting $30b from education over the next 10 years.

SIMON BIRMINGHAM: The government has outlined Budget projections in terms of the quantum of money that will be available for school funding. What I’ve indicated is that within those projections from 2018 onwards, we will sit down and talk to the states and territories and to the non-government schooling sectors about how they are distributed.

What he really means – The states, territories and school sectors are going to have to fight for the school funding scraps after we cut $30b from education over the next 10 years.

[Sky News, February 9]

“No matter how they attempt to phrase it, one thing is clear,” Ellis said.“The government has no plan for our schools, except to cut $30b.”

Meanwhile the ex-Prime Minister ....no not that one, Julia Gillard has weighed in on the issue

When I was prime minister, among my proudest achievements was ensuring our nation adopted the recommendations of the Gonski review into school funding; that we were working to make sure every school had the resources it needed so every child could get a great education.”

Gillard was appointed in early 2014 as chair of the Global Partnership for Education, an international organisation dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.

She was introduced by the partnership as someone who “throughout her career in public office…distinguished herself as a passionate and effective champion for education”. The organisation is based in Washington DC.

“I know from my own personal experience what a difference can be made when resources are combined with new ways of working in schools to make a difference for our children,” Gillard says.

“I’ve been to the schools where the children who are at risk of falling behind are given the one-on-one support they need so they can succeed too; where the gifted kids are getting accelerated programs so they can just keep galloping ahead; and where there are behavioural programs so every child is in class and learning, and classes aren’t disrupted.

“It is these changes to Australia’s schools that Bill Shorten wants to see for every child,” she says.

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