12 October 2018

Two steps forward, one step back in march towards fair outcome for schools

School funding is a journey, not a destination. The goal is not actually to get it right but to keep improving it. It will get off the front pages when it is good enough. Labor’s announcement is another step in that direction.

21 September 2018

Three charts on: why Catholic primary school parents can afford to pay more

Every government dollar should be spent where it will make most difference. The Coalition’s school funding fix is a good deal for Catholic and independent schools. It’s a bad deal for the rest of us.

29 August 2018

Five steps to fair school funding

Scott Morrison has given his new Education Minister, Dan Tehan, the task of sealing a deal on school funding. Here’s how Minister Tehan can pull it off, to the benefit of all Australian students and without resorting to special side deals.

20 August 2018

The expensive truth about private schools and student learning

When Australian parents shell out fees to send their children to private schools, they like to think they’re getting many things for their money. So they may be surprised to learn that superior student growth in literacy and numeracy is not one of them.

18 July 2018

Explaining Australia’s school funding debate: what’s at stake

Australia should use a direct measure of families’ pre-tax income to estimate how much parents can afford to pay towards their children’s schooling.

22 March 2018

Catholic schools aren’t all the same, and Gonski 2.0 reflects this

Bill Shorten is being accused of buying support from the Catholic sector to win the seat of Batman, by appearing to promise Catholic schools A$250 million in the first two years of a Labor government. The Catholic sector says this money goes a way to restoring the funding lost in the Gonski 2.0 reforms. Public and independent schools are outraged at the perceived favouritism.

18 February 2018

The Commonwealth’s limited role in improving schools

We’ve been down this path before. Imposing prescriptive federal funding conditions is costly and sometimes counterproductive. It can destroy policy coherence and simply increase red tape. Unless the states and territories buy in to the changes, they will just go through the motions of complying, without actually enforcing real change.

12 February 2018

Why the Commonwealth should resist meddling in schools

Australia’s education debate is shifting at last, from how much money governments should spend on schools to how best to spend the money for the benefit of students. The Grattan Institute’s new report, The Commonwealth’s role in improving schools, examines what the Commonwealth should do if it really wants to boost student outcomes.

6 September 2017

School funding is a journey, not a destination

Passage through the Senate of the Australian Education Amendment Act 2017, otherwise known as Gonski 2.0, was a victory for children over politics. But the journey is not over. More needs to be done to improve school education in Australia.

23 June 2017

The passage of Gonski 2.0 is a victory for children over politics

The Senate voted to improve the way we fund our schools and cross-benchers have proved the naysayers wrong. Not only did they pass Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s needs-based funding plan – an olive branch summarily dismissed by Labor – but they negotiated amendments to improve the plan. This is a victory for the children of Australia.