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Article Title

Editorial

Abstract

The Independent Schools Council of Australia in its submission to the Commonwealth Review of Funding for Schooling chaired by David Gonski has called for, ‘A student-based methodology which relies on robust data regarding student characteristics (that) provides an effective and transparent means to determine the resourcing needs of individual schools’ – aka a voucher system. The Australian Education Union (AEU) submission called for a funding model that funds government and non- government schools separately, breaking the current indexation system through the Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC). The current system means non-government school funding increases in line with increases in the AGSRC for government schools. AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos, writing in Australian Educator in 2009, described such a funding system as ‘flawed and dangerous.’ There was no reference to vouchers in the AEU submission to the Gonski review, beyond discussion of vouchers to deliver additional funding for students with disabilities or special needs, but Gavrielatos in his 2009 article made clear the AEU’s opposition to a voucherbased funding system. The surprise is not the quality of debate over vouchers, but that there hasn’t really been any debate. April’s Commonwealth Schools Assistance Amendment (Financial Assistance) Act 2011 extended existing arrangements until the end of 2013. Explained Commonwealth Minister for School Education Peter Garrett in February, that’s to enable non-government schools to transition to any new funding arrangements the government implements in response to the Gonski review, which will report to the government by the end of this year.

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