Bill Shorten, Chris Bowen and Kate Ellis have today demonstrated that Labor either don't have the faintest idea of how our school education system is structured in Australia or that they are hell-bent on telling lies all the way to the election.
“Malcolm Turnbull has today said that he will abandon school education in this country.”
– Bill Shorten, Transcript – Press Conference, 30/3/16
Fact: The Commonwealth doesn't run any schools or employ any teachers. States and territories run 100 per cent of government schools in Australia.
“It [school funding] is a core responsibility of the federal government.“
– Chris Bowen, Transcript – Press Conference, 30/3/16
Fact: In 2013-14 the Commonwealth provides just 13 per cent of the average per student funding in a government school. School funding is a core function of the states and territories, who provide 87 per cent of funding. (Source: 2016 Report on Government Services)
“We don't want to see the system broken down into each state and territory having totally different systems, totally different funding models.“
– Kate Ellis, Transcript – Press Conference, 30/3/16
Fact: States and territories do run different systems and apply different funding models. For example, 2013-14 per student funding for government schools in Victoria was less than $12,000 but in Western Australia was more than $17,500 for government schools. (Source: 2016 Report on Government Services)
Labor love a system where accountability is blurred and the buck can always be passed from one level of government to another.
Labor’s implementation of the Gonski model resulted in 27 different funding arrangements with government and non-government sectors, resulting in different payment levels depending on the deal they could get out of Bill Shorten on the eve of the 2013 election.
However, Australians deserve better than a further blurring of the lines in school education and the pretence that funding is the only thing that matters.
The Turnbull Government wants to deliver clarity, accountability and the incentive for our school systems to innovate and be their absolute best rather than being strangled by multiple levels of government bureaucracy.