The Gonski Timeline
The Gonski Review
David Gonski AOM hands down the Review of Funding for Schooling Final Report.
Prime Minister Gillard says they will implement the Gonski recommendations.
Labor refuse to adopt an Independent Oversight Body as recommended
Labor makes various deals with certain sectors for funding and commits that ‘no school shall lose a dollar’ meaning that the principles of both sector-blind and fair needs-based funding are abandoned.
Unfairness locked in
Prime Minister Gillard signs agreements with NSW, ACT and South Australia. No other states sign up.
Pleas by the Greens to the Labor government to lock into law all six years of funding, as well as a binding needs-based funding formula are rejected. As a result, schools today have no funding certainty.
The Australian Education Act 2013 is passed by Parliament, it locks in unfair indexation levels that ensure over-resourced schools receive more and more money while under-resourced schools won’t catch up to overfunded ones until we are into the next century. [Figure 2.7 Grattan Institute Circuit Breaker Report November 2016]
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott promises to the Australian people a ‘unity ticket’ on schools funding.
Labor loses government and a new Liberal government is formed.
Abbott takes over
Prime Minister Abbott betrays their ‘unity ticket’ promise and says the expensive years of 2018 and 2019 will not be honoured with NSW, ACT and South Australia.
The new Liberal government gives all the other non-signing states the promised money for 2014-2017 with no return commitment to honour the principles of Gonski. Northern Territory spends its money on other projects and reduces its own school funding.
The Abbott Government’s first budget slashes $30 billion from schools funding over the decade.
Turnbull and the 2016 election
Prime Minister Turnbull quietly reconfirms that the two last years of the original funding agreements with the States will not be honoured
The Greens and the Shorten Opposition pledge to honour the $4.5 billion in schools funding if there is a change of government and reverse the $30 billion cut over the decade.
The Liberal government is re-elected with a slim two-seat majority.
The new debate
Prime Minister Turnbull uses the first budget after the election to lift funding beyond Abbott’s low-point and to tackle the over-funding of schools already above their resourcing standard.
The Shorten Opposition outright refuses to negotiate on the legislation, falsely claiming that the $22 billion difference between what they promised in the election is now a ‘cut’.
The Turnbull government turns to the Greens or Crossbench to secure passage of its reforms.