Why parents’ education levels will affect Victorian school funding

Why parents’ education levels will affect Victorian school funding
The government in Victoria plans to introduce a new measure of disadvantaged students in order to determine its allocation of education funds under the Gonski agreement.

For the first time in Australia the education levels of students’ parents will be used in order to assess the extent of disadvantage that a school’s community has.

NAPLAN results will also be considered with additional funds of $2000 for every student that did not achieve the minimum level in year 5.

The Age reports that the state has $747 million to distribute with $566 million being allocated to state schools over the next four years. Premier Daniel Andrews says the funding will boost needs-based funding by 70 per cent.

Along with the new funds come increased targets for attainment including:
  • 33 per cent increase in science literacy among 15-year-olds
  • 20 per cent increase in “high resilience” students
  • 50 per cent cut in year 9 to 12 drop-out rate
The allocation methods are designed to help those disadvantaged students who may be at schools in neighbourhoods which are not inherently disadvantaged.

There is also additional funding to add new skill-sets to the curriculum including digital coding and respectful relationships.

Principals will also receive more support as part of the funding allocation.

Although the Victoria Education Minister James Merlino and the Premier have hailed the changes as “world leading” the opposition is not convinced; leader Matthew Guy commented that the changes would not by incentives for schools to be successful.

The Victorian branch president of the Australia Education Union was more optimistic and told The Age that it was a “positive first step” in tackling funding gaps.