Education

I agree with The Australian on this one.  We have increased spending on education very substantially over the last few years.  It hasn’t turned into results. The Gonsky review wasn’t directly about increasing spending, it was about how we allocate spending.  The problem is that reallocating funding implies some get more and some get less.  That is politically unpalatable, so Julia committed that no school would be worse off.  That resulted in needing to increase funding by $6.5B p.a. to fully implement Gonski.

Increasing spending again won’t improve results any more than it did in the past.  What is needed is a focus on how we improve teaching.  Reducing class sizes has a small improvement, but it’s not the best spend of money.  Improving teacher quality is a much better path, but involves taking on the unions.  Julia won’t do that.  A Liberal government might, but better still would for this to go back to being a state responsibility, and the Federal government just get out of it.  Across Australia we could then see different results in different places, and the States could innovate.  Better still would be to push down to individual school level, with bulk funding and allowance of vouchers so that parents can send children to private schools more easily.  No chance of that happening any time soon.

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