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Abstract

Australia needs a clear national model for school funding, based on need and applying equally across the sectors, but this does not seem likely, at least in the short term. Andrew Dowling examines the issues. In May 2008, the Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, referred to an ACER policy brief in a speech to the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) NSW and said that, “Australia’s school funding system is one of the most complex, most opaque, and most confusing in the developed world.” She went on to observe that “this lack of transparency has served to heighten the atmosphere of uncertainty and mutual suspicion which has characterised the politics of education in Australia over the last decade.” The next day, she announced in the daily newspapers that the Federal Government would review its school funding system in 2010-11, in time for the next formal funding model for schools that begins in 2012 (the current four year agreement ends in 2008 but Labor promised during the election campaign that the next agreement, which runs from 2009- 2012, would maintain the existing system).

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