COAG meeting focuses on school funding

by The Educator16 Dec 2016

The school year is coming to a close with federal, state and territory education ministers attending a COAG meeting to discuss a new funding agreement.

The COAG meeting, held in Melbourne today, will provide state and territory education ministers with the chance to review and provide feedback on Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s new funding agreement.

In addition to an announcement on greater transparency for university admissions and child care reforms, News Corp reported that the talk is expected to cover Senator Birmingham’s proposal that states agree to certain conditions, including testing of Year 1 students, minimum school leaver standards, and better teacher training, in exchange for Commonwealth money.

It is anticipated that NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli will continue to push the Commonwealth to fully fund the six-year Gonski agreement he struck with the previous Labor Federal Government.

News Corp reports that Minister Piccoli believes the Commonwealth’s proposals largely mirror what NSW is already doing and he’ll lobby other states to introduce minimum entry standards for people who want to be teachers.

Northern Territory Minister Eva Lawler has stressed the importance of all jurisdictions having a say on how the new funding arrangements are implemented, and said that geographic and demographic differences must be taken into consideration. She particularly highlighted the higher proportion of disadvantaged students in the NT.

A new deal is expected to be finalised with state and territory leaders at their next COAG meeting, likely in April next year.

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