Thursday, December 23, 2010

AUSTRALIA: GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE SCHOOL FUNDING

CATH NEWS REPORT: The Federal Government's school funding review panel said it would investigate the funding needs of students from all schools - government, Catholic and independent - and would consider funding from all sources, reports The Age.

An emerging issues paper form the Review is the product of a national listening tour on which its panel heard the views of more than 70 educational groups. While most of the paper is devoted to reporting those views, the paper also sets out the panel's thinking on the issue of equity.

''It believes that equity should ensure that differences in educational outcomes are not the result of differences in wealth, income, power or possessions,'' the paper says.

''The panel does not intend it to mean that all students are the same or will achieve the same outcomes, but rather that they will not be prevented from achieving their maximum potential because of their background or family circumstances.''The chairman of the schools funding review, businessman David Gonski, has told The Age that some education groups had encouraged the review panel to look at what obligations should be attached to public funding.

He said there had been questions about whether schools receiving government money should have to give ''full details of their activities'', as well as have ''some sort of regulatory environment in terms of their fee structure''.

It had also been suggested that the regulation could vary according to the level of funding received. ''If you get only a small amount of funding, maybe you don't have all of those requirements. If you get a lot of funding, maybe you do,'' he said.

But Mr Gonski stressed that the review panel had not yet formed a view on the issue. ''These are suggestions made, not by us, but by others ... and we haven't made up our minds, but we will look at that,'' he said.

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=24632

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