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Public School spending ahead of recommendations

By Jazz - 17 June 2008 39

It may surprise some but apparently the ACT has a higher ratio of investment public school facilities than private, bucking a national trend, and in theory making public education in the ACT a far better proposition than it might be in other states.

Andrew Barr has claimed that the $350 Million in capital works spending to be targeted at upgrading the remaining schools and opening a few new ones (like the ginnindera super school) is ahead of the Australia Education Unions recommendations to double spending to $4bn (nationally) in public education facilities.

ABC online and CT are both running stories which state that the ACT is leading the way on public school funding on a ratio basis.

I would content that its actually not. If every other state and territory is reversing that trend and supporting private education systems rather than public then surely the ACT is behind the 8 ball regardless of the education unions recommendations.

Personally I’m not entirely sure of the merits of having brilliant facilities if you can’t find the qualified teachers and education programs to use them.

What’s Your opinion?


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39 Responses to
Public School spending ahead of recommendations
tap 2:42 pm 17 Jun 08

Oh i see what you mean *catches up* you are talking about comparing the public to private ratio, im talking about comparing the comparison. It does seem manipulatable.

miz 2:34 pm 17 Jun 08

Yet all we ever hear about is Lyneham!

miz 2:33 pm 17 Jun 08

Aidan, you are so right. It’s what goes on inside the buildings that counts! Eg, look at Calwell High – the building has never been marvellous, but the school has excelled in the Arts, on a national basis, due to its curriculum.

CharlieBell 2:33 pm 17 Jun 08

Excuse my cynicism, but please remember its election year in the ACT.

Last year we had 30 or so schools closed. This year the government is spending lots of money on building new schools. The result is an abnormal spike of ACT government expenditure on public school buildings – and a fuss being made about it by the education minister a few months before an election.

The non-government school systems don’t need to save up their expenditure for election years.

aidan 2:27 pm 17 Jun 08

I would argue that there isn’t a great deal wrong with the public education system. There is this sense of crisis whipped up all the time, and yet the outcomes of the Australian education system are world class (as judged by the literacy/numeracy of our population).

tap 2:26 pm 17 Jun 08

I thought they were comparing percentage spending of capital works between public in the ACT and public elsewhere. I still do actually.

Jazz 2:12 pm 17 Jun 08

Why is it stupid? Becuase they are comparing percentages of capital works spending between private and public, not actual dollar value per student.

I’d wager that most of the captial works spending on Private education actually comes as a result of the exhorbitant fees they charge.

tap 1:50 pm 17 Jun 08

Jazz: What the ACT is spending on public education isn’t relevant to elsewhere is australia? Why is it stupid to make comparisons between public schools in the ACT and elsewhere?

All well and good about improving the quality and number of teachers, but to say it is pointless to refurbish schools in other ways seems a bit much.

Kramer: Or a slightly more disturbing (if fairly extreme) scenario, it will push people to the private system until you have nearly everyone in private and public education is deemed unworkable and unneeded and scrapped altogether.

Kramer 1:43 pm 17 Jun 08

The problem with reducing spending on public education is that it effectively pushes people to the private system. As less funding = less students = less funding = less students… Until you have nearly everyone in private education, and a small number of disadvantaged people in a clapped out public school system.

Clown Killer 1:33 pm 17 Jun 08

Well they’d want to be doing somthing to stem the flood of students to the private schools.

Jazz 1:30 pm 17 Jun 08

nope

I mean that to claim that ACT is leading a trend may be incorrect. If every other jurisiction is shifting its capital works spending into private education then ACT is not leading anything.

That there is any comparison at all is also stupid. just because the ACT is spending more on public education capital works is only relevant in this jurisdiction and only relevant to the expectation of what people in this town want from public and private education. The amount of spending is also all pointless if you dont also improve the quality and or number of teachers to go along with it.

miz 1:24 pm 17 Jun 08

20 pieces of silver is what this increased funding feels like – one of my children’s schools has received an increase because of the new amalgamation that we ‘had to have’ (and no one wants) – but it feels so wrong to get more money at the expense of the now-closed schools.

tap 1:21 pm 17 Jun 08

I think you may be suggesting that underfunding public schools is a positive thing that is expected to yield positive results in the future? Thats why the other states are doing it? And the ACT is behind on increasing its underfunding of public schools?

Jazz 1:10 pm 17 Jun 08

I meant that if every other state and territory has less spending that perhaps the ACT it may actually at the rear of a trend in spending despite the education unions recommendations (who know’s what their agenda is).

In spite of that, all the extra spending on facilities isnt worth much if they cant sort out the other aspects of the education system like programs and well paid and qualified teachers.

that clear enough?

aidan 12:18 pm 17 Jun 08

I’m not sure what your argument is Jazz.

You say that even though the ACT is ahead of AEU recommendations for funding public school infrastructure that this might not be enough. In the next sentence you state you’re not even sure it is worth having these facilities! These seem like contradictory positions to me.

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