Education over politics
Gonski 2.0 is the breakthrough in funding that schools and parents have been waiting for.
The Nationals and Liberals in Government have proven they #GiveAGonski, with Gonski 2.0 delivering $23.5 billion for Australian school students over the next decade. This funding resurrects the original formula of the Gonski report – fair, needs-based funding.
This sector-blind funding means that NSW will gain on average an additional $2,180 per student over the next ten years meaning our regional schools will be able to have access to the funding they need to help country kids succeed.
After decades of convoluted funding arrangements by Labor, culminating in 27 different funding arrangements chaotically arranged under Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, the Nationals and Liberals have worked with the Senate to end this era of inconsistent and unfair funding. Under Gonski 2.0 Australia finally has a transparent, needs-based funding model which the requirements of each school determining funding levels.
For schools that suffered due to Labor’s successive funding failures, Gonski 2.0 delivers an additional $4.9 billion in funding in the May Budget, allowing these schools to make up lost ground after years of underfunding.
Funding will grow on average 6.4 per cent per annum for those in Government schools, and 4.9 per cent for non-Government schools.
Gonski 2.0 is testimony to the ability of the Nationals and Liberals to deliver in a tight Federal Parliament, negotiating a diverse Senate crossbench to strengthen the Gonski package and achieve the best outcome for children in regional Australia. Now, no matter where they live or how much their parents earn, they can receive a quality education.
The success of Gonski 2.0 is in part a result of careful revising of the funding formula. It also removes the ‘system weighted average’ approach for non-Government Catholic schools that skewed the funding model which allowed Catholic schools to present their needs – and therefore funding requirements – as an average from across the sector, rather than on a school by school basis.
Such a formula under-represented the liquidity of high socio-economic schools and penalises poorer schools by applying the median need of the group to both ends of the spectrum. Under the Gonski 2.0, Catholic schools in lower socioeconomic areas will benefit with funding allocated on their specific needs, not the average of the Catholic sector. Affected schools will have access to $50 million in transitional funding, to support them in moving over to the new needs-based arrangements.
Gonski 2.0 will also establish an independent body to review funding measures and school needs in a nationally consistent manner – one of the key recommendations of the original report that Labor failed to deliver.
It has been six years since David Gonski handed down his comprehensive report and strategy for achieving a national, transparent and fair school funding system. The Nationals are proud to be part of the Government that has finally delivered a funding model that supports every student, in every classroom, in every state, no matter where they live.