Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed that public schools might lose government funding while private educational establishment will continue to receive the same.
The dramatic reform to the education system of the nation was unveiled during the ABC’s RN Breakfast while the prime minister discussed his radical tax proposals. “You could make a very powerful case for example that, if there was a revenue sharing, if the states had access to a portion of income tax, that they would have the resources and the money to have the responsibility for state schools.”
When Turnbull was questioned on why not the private school funding come to an end, he said it would not be “fair” to do so. This is because there is a doubt whether state governments would fund the non-governmental educational establishments properly. “But in terms of state schools, state education, government schools, if the states had the money, if they had the money from a share of the tax base, would they not do a better job managing those schools themselves?” he said.
“That would be a question to ask the education ministers: does the education minister in Canberra know better how to run a primary school in Tasmania or South Australia or Western Australia than the education minister in those states?”
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Labor accusing the prime minister of “walking away” from the liability of financing public schools. According to the opposition party, the move will negatively affect the decades of work that has been done so far, including changes made to the Gonski School, resulting in the uplift of national schooling standards. The publication also claimed the proposal was earlier leaked to Fairfax Media in 2015 in the form of discussion paper content.
According to Buzzfeed, Turnbull said that the plan will set the state governments free to decide on their income tax. Presently, the federal government is responsible for the collection of taxes and further distribution of the same to states for the payment to schools and hospitals. “Ultimately you’ve got to decide. Do you want to continue to have the federal government and the states arm-wrestling about how your local primary school, your local high school, should be run?” asked the prime minister.