Funding deal to give money for marks
Queensland schools will have to prove they are improving to secure federal funds.
Reports this week say the state’s failure to make a deal with the former Labor government means they are stuck in a standards guarantee.
The agreement Queensland has signed says that to secure extra funding, every student must meet a minimum standard in literacy and numeracy or schools must have an improvement plan in place for those who don't, according to News Corp media outlets.
Despite refusing to sign on under the previous government, Queensland schools will still receive funding worth $800 million over the next four years. The state has eschewed the allocation model suggested by the Gonski report, and will instead primarily direct it to literacy and numeracy skills in the early years of school.
Primary schools are also set to receive about three-quarters of an extra $131 million announced by the Prime Minister this week, after a deal was reportedly signed at the end of last year.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says the money will be allocated based on the advice of education experts, but not the advice of the education experts in the Gonski funding review.
“We want to see the money at the coalface helping teachers help our kids get a better education. We don't want to see it frittered away on things that are nice to have; we want to focus on the essentials,” Mr Newman said.
The Premier says principals, teachers and school communities will have the biggest say on how to spend the money.
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek says he expects results to improve this year as funding is channelled to the areas of most need.
“[The plan] will lead to great benefits down the track for Queensland. It means by the time [students] get past Year 3, they already have the building blocks in place so they can go ahead and contribute to our economy without having the problems that come from having poor literacy and numeracy standards,” he said.
Federal president of the Australian Education Union, Mr Angelo Gavrielatos, says the new deal struck with the Coalition means Queensland's schools will only get two-thirds of the extra money they would have under Labor's plan. He says the requirement for states to increase their own funding should have been kept.
Close to 1230 primary schools will split $99m over the course of the year, equating to about $508 extra per student. Amounts will be adjusted somewhat, depending on the needs of the schools and students.
The president of the Queensland Association of State School Principals says it is good that the funds are going toward early intervention, as it is assumed that benefits to primary students will eventually flow through to high schools.