September 13, 2016 School Funding
Keeping an eye on things…make a note.
Interview on ABC Radio National Drive with Patricia Karvelas
Topics: Schools funding
13 September 2016
Patricia Karvelas: On your own portfolio, you’re working with states and territories to secure a post-2017 funding deal for schools. Now, that’s coming closer than all of us- well, hope, because the year’s just going away. Post-2017 isn’t very far away. The Education Council meets next Friday. How close are you to a deal?
Simon Birmingham: Well, we gave a commitment through the Council of Australian Governments that we would settle these matters through the Prime Minister and the State and Territory Leaders at the COAG table in the first half of 2017. So that’s the timeline that we’re working towards.
What will happen next Friday in sitting down with State and Territory ministers is I’ll start to talk about some of the principles that will guide the Coalition’s funding distribution. In the budget this year, we committed increased funding for Australian schools that will see the Federal Government spend $16 billion this year in ultram online pharmacy 2016 growing each and every year over the forward estimates to more than $20 billion by 2020.
I want to talk to the States and Territories about the principles for the distribution of that growing pot of schools funding. I want to talk to them about some of the inconsistencies that exist in some of the funding models at present and hear their views and priorities for how we strip away some of those inconsistencies to get a better, clearer, needs-based funding model, rather than the 27 different funding models that we inherited from the Labor Party. And I want to talk to them about how they would prioritise the important reforms to what actually happens in schools. Because it’s not all just a question of how schools are funded.
It’s important to talk about the priority reforms which we outlined in the election campaign around ensuring greater and earlier identification of students who may have reading challenges and literacy challenges to enable early intervention; increased aspiration for school leavers in terms of their numeracy and literacy skills; supporting and rewarding our most highly competent and Lead Teachers in schools to ensure they stay teaching in the- in our schooling system. So a range of different reform options that we outlined which will also be a big part, I hope, of the conversations with the states and territories, and I hope they will come constructively to the table, making real suggestions that aren’t just a plea for yet more money, but are suggestions about how we can better distribute the money we’ve got, and how we can really ensure it is used effectively for the benefit of Australian schoolchildren.
Patricia Karvelas: Simon Birmingham, many thanks for your time tonight.