Could it be time for Labor to revisit its own 1972 ‘It’s time’ campaign? Maybe. According to Nick Economou, Senior Lecturer in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University, ‘There is an increasing political imperative to re-visit education…. With the opinion polls indicating that the Gillard government is in the last twelve months of its existence, there are great incentives for Labor to re-visit the Gonski agenda,’ Economou writes in the Conversation.
The Gonski review recommended a $5 billion annual increase in the schools budget and funding through a schools resources standard that would allocate a base funding rate for each student, with additional loadings for schools with disadvantaged students to boost the educational achievement of all students.
‘With Labor doing so poorly in the polls (particularly in the light of the way it handled the climate change policy debate), there is an urgent need for the Gillard government to push a policy issue to which it might be able to get a positive reaction,’ Economou writes.
The risk, Economou observes, is that the Liberal Opposition, and Liberal state governments, may turn such an education policy into a public-private stoush.
The New South Wales Government in July announced its own new education financing model, which Michele Bruniges, the NSW Director-General of the Department of Education and Communities, described as ‘Gonski-plus in a NSW context.’
As Andrew Stevenson reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, ‘NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, is keen to do a deal with the Commonwealth on Gonski this year. Queensland, South Australia and the ACT are also supportive.’
Read Nick Economou’s ‘From lukewarm to wedge issue: How Labor could use Gonski at the next election’ here.
Read Andrew Stevenson’s ‘NSW ups the ante on school funding’ here.
STRAWPOLL: Should the Gillard Labor Government set about negotiating with state and territory governments to implement the Gonski review recommendations?