Needs-based funding is the key to a school system that is both equitable and efficient. Needs based funding means allocating public education funding based on the needs of individual students and school communities.
By implementing a needs-based funding model we will address under-achievement of 20% of children, many who have special needs.
An equitable school system is one where “differences in educational outcomes are not the result of differences in wealth, income, power or possessions”. This definition comes from the Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Funding for Schooling, more commonly known as the Gonski Review after the panel chair, David Gonski.
Schools with a higher need for support and funding should receive just that.
This model offers an ongoing, transparent and equitable funding system, consistent across school sectors.
Despite pre-election commitments they would support the Gonski reforms, the Coalition Government has indicated they will not honour funding arrangements of the ‘Gonski Agreement’ beyond 2017 – removing long-term certainty for school funding.
This backflip will cost Victorian schools more than $1 billion over 2018 and 2019.
This money is essential to support students with disabilities or learning difficulties, reduce class sizes, enhance the breadth and depth of the curriculum, and to support the ongoing professional development of school staff.
Without Gonski funding (needs-based funding) from the Federal Government, the Victorian State Government will have difficulty funding the Education State Victorian children deserve.
Here is a quick recap on where things are at:
2011 – Gonski final report recommends needs-based funding from Federal Government onto states
2012 – Labor party commits to Gonski reform
2013 – Bipartisan support for Federal Government funding of Gonski reform in the lead up to the Federal Election
2014 – Year 1 of Gonski Agreement
2015 – Year 2 of Gonski Agreement
May 2015 – Coalition Government Budget confirms they will no longer fund Years 5 and 6 of Gonski Agreement cutting $1 billion from funding to Victoria in 2018 and 2019.
2016-2017 – Years 3 and 4 of Gonski Agreement
2018-2019 – Years 5 and 6 have no funding