Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gavin glosses over Gonski gap

There has been much comment and twittering about what goes on within the mind of Christopher Pyne. The Education Minister has decided to go back to the drawing board and re-write the Gonski reforms. He also reflected with some nostalgia on the Howard funding model which was rather generous to the private school sector.

Peter Martin has posted on that today: Inequality at the heart of Gonski rejection
And it doled out the money on the basis of a con. Funds were allocated in accordance with the ''socioeconomic status'' of the postcode in which each student lived - not on the basis of each student's actual socioeconomic status, but on the basis of the status of those who lived in the same postcode, most of whom would never go near the school and couldn't afford it.
Postcode discrimination? Now where have I heard that recently?  Oh yes, postcode is what the evil insurance companies also use to determine your risk status. Postcode 4870 Cairns is among the largest based on population in Queensland and not really a very useful determinant of socio-economic status. What is evil for insurance may be fine in education perhaps in the minds of some politicians?

We should reflect again on what the Gonski funding reforms would mean for FNQ as previously posted here at Loose Change: Gavin's Gonski Gap

After doing a cut & paste of the Courier-Mail data for Queensland into Excel the average funding increase for a state school in that period to 2019, per student, is 36.8% and the median school 35%.  For the Far North the average school funding increase is way higher at 47.2% and the median 45.2%. 
Part of this is related to indigenous communities with large increases in places like Yarrabah, Pormpuraaw, Western Cape, Torres Strait. However, the larger state high schools in Cairns are also big winners a long way above state averages, or the 19.4% base adopted by Langbroek as being 'worse off':

Trinity Bay High School            63.4%
Cairns State High School           45.2%
Woree State High School           48.8%
Gordonvale State High School   50.8% 
Smithfield State High School     39.6%

That would appear to leave a big potential funding gap missed by the Far North if Queensland rejects Gonski?


The member for 4870 was previously particularly cynical in comments about Gonski as a slogan without substance and supported the refusal of Queensland to sign up to the extra funding for our FNQ schools. However our Gavin is a man prepared to fill any gap and was proud to announce this week that 50 or so of the stray kiddies in the postcode will fill a special school: Education to target troubled youth in Cairns.

Now what socio-economic background would they come from I wonder? That should fix it! No more gaps with Gavin's Gonski Pollyfilla!

We can only hope that as some have suggested Pyne will only attempt a superficial paint job so that he can then claim credit for the shiny new model. Meanwhile we await an anticipated campaign from the Cairns Post to retain FNQ funding? *crickets*


Update: Reporting at The Guardian with strong words from the NSW Liberal Coalition education minister Piccoli who has been a bi-partisan advocate of the Gonski model:
“The war is over and unfortunately this week it’s been reignited. It’s taken 20 years to solve it [but] we’ve had six months of peace.”

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