‘Calamitous decline’: Call for school funding review
A radical overhaul of school funding is needed to lift education outcomes which are still declining despite record government spending, according to a new report.
The Centre for Independent Studies' Dollars and Sense: Time for smart reform of Australian school funding analyses OECD data, Australian school-level data, and existing research and argues that despite more than $61 billion of public funding in schools, results have dropped.
CIS research fellow Glenn Fahey said this showed the approach of increasing resources without changing anything else, could not be expected to improve educational outcomes.
"Student achievement in international testing has declined faster than in almost any country in the world - leading to what Mr Fahey calls: "a calamitous decline in education performance."
The report calls on governments to consider a review of the current funding models while recommending improving accountability, competition, and performance.
"A more outcomes-based approach reorients funding based on activity and the quality of education that schools deliver," the report said.
One of the recommendations proposes a trial of a performance-based pay system for teachers and adopting more flexible pathways to enter teaching in order to boost teaching quality and motivation to become a teacher.
"More money really can make a difference if it comes with a much-needed boost to quality in education delivery. We need smarter solutions if we're to overcome the current education malaise and to truly become a clever country."
Originally published as 'Calamitous decline': Call for school funding review