Federal funding for Victorian non-government schools in 2019 remains in doubt after the federal and state governments failed to come to an agreement over the Commonwealth’s education reforms. Source: ABC News.
The Commonwealth provides the majority of government funding for Catholic and independent schools, but in Victoria that money is under question for 2019 because Victoria has refused to sign the federal Government’s Gonski 2.0 agreement.
The Andrews Government is resisting this deal, arguing it is not fair to government schools, while the Morrison Government has said unless Victoria signs up, payments to Victorian schools will not go ahead as expected in January.
The stalemate is causing anxiety in non-government schools who are worried about the flow of money early in the new year.
With the federal election due in the next six months, Victoria has proposed to sign up to a one-year interim deal to avoid any shortfall for independent schools in 2019.
“Victoria won’t be bullied into signing a dud multi-year deal for schoolkids by a belligerent leader of a minority government,’’ Victoria’s Education Minister James Merlino said.
“Scott Morrison has already recklessly rejected this proposal. This proves he is willing to hold kids to ransom to force through his unfair education deal.”
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said Victoria was the only state yet to sign up to the agreement.
“Every other state and territory has negotiated a five-year deal in good faith that provides record Commonwealth funding for state schools, Catholic schools and independent schools,” Mr Tehan said.
“Victoria is asking for a special deal that puts in jeopardy everything we have negotiated in good faith with every other state and territory.
“The Commonwealth wants to provide record funding to Victorian schools but the only way to do so is with the cooperation of Victoria.”
Victoria has also argued there is no impediment to the Commonwealth providing funding to non-government schools next year without a deal, a point disputed by the Morrison Government.
‘Holding kids to ransom’: One-year school funding deal knocked back (Canberra Times)