Tanya Plibersek has today confirmed that in government, Labor would replicate the schools funding arrangements Julia Gillard left behind that were purely based on special deals for state governments and school sectors.


Samantha Maiden: …I’m not sure that I understand. You won’t be providing them with some sort of lump sum, you will pick up with the funding rate at the rate that they would have otherwise received if that funding had continued to roll-out?


Tanya Plibersek: Absolutely.


 (Interview on Sky News, 21/3/18)


The Turnbull Government’s Gonski needs-based funding plan abolished the 27 special deals Julia Gillard and her then-education minister stitched up.


However, today Ms Plibersek confirmed Labor’s schools funding policy will be based on politicking, not principle and student need. Labor will go back to the arrangements the Gillard Government left behind.


Like the Gillard deals, Tanya Plibersek seems to want to punish states who fund their schools well, and give a boost to non-government sectors who lobby the loudest.


Under Labor’s schools funding deals, a student in one state could receive up to $2,100 less than if that same student went to the same school but in another state. In the non-government sector, if you changed the sign on the school gate from being run by with one organisation to another, that school’s students would receive an entirely different level of support.


Tanya Plibersek has foreshadowed Federal Labor will fund some states more than others, and some non-government school systems more than others, regardless of need.


Labor’s approach stands in stark contrast to the Turnbull Government’s plan, which, according to independent think tanks including the Grattan Institute and the Mitchell Institute, the former head of the Australian Education Union Diane Foggo AM and Gonski Review panellists including Ken Boston, Kathryn Greiner and David Gonski himself, is truly needs-based.


It’s time for Labor to come clean on how they will carve up their funding for schools.


Just how many special deals has Mr Shorten promised?