Kevin Rudd and I are on a unity ticket. There’s no difference between Kevin Rudd and myself when it comes to school funding.
That’s Tony Abbott before the last election.
“you can vote Liberal or Labor and you’ll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school”.
That’s Christopher Pyne, from the Brisbane Times piece, which is probably the clearest account of what is going on.
In simple terms, Pyne is going to honour the 2014 agreements, plus give the share owing to Queensland, WA and NT without expecting reciprocal commitments, but from 2015 there will be a “flatter, simpler, fairer” formula, within the same envelope of funding, but again without reciprocal commitments from the states and territories.
The LNP’s commitment on funding has only ever been for four years.
Presumably the LNP will have to change the law. Bronwyn Hinz at Crikey:
Another obstacle for Pyne is that the increased funding for school systems that signed up to Labor’s National Plan for School Improvement have been legislated for the period 2014-2019. The complexity of this legislation and a hostile Senate means that the Abbott government cannot just back away from these legislative commitments, and certainly cannot prevent the first additional funds from flowing before the start of the new school year.
Pyne claims that the Better Schools plan was incomprehensible an un-implementable. Certainly he declined a briefing from the Gonski panel and has never shown the slightest interest in Gonski’s findings. He plans to work from the old Howard scheme as a base.
Funnily enough, none of this is a surprise to me. It’s exactly what I expected from what was said before the elections. The statements by Abbott and Pyne back then were always a transparent snow job. Unlike Gillard’s “no carbon tax” statement, they intended to mislead.
On Monday night there was an excellent segment on Lateline wherein NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli spoke like a true Labor politician about the needs of the disadvantaged.
Kate Ellis also performed well.
There were two more last night. Go to the second for the kerfuffle over funding. Pyne claims that the $1.2 billion that would have gone to the non-signatories was ripped out of the budget by Labor. It’s not clear to me that he’s going to replace all of it. Wait for the audit of government functions for further perfidy on this one.
There was also discussion on Saturday Salon.