Your Weekly Dose of Common Sense is a little late today because we are in the midst of debating the government’s proposed education funding Bill. There is talk of all sorts of deals being cooked up between the Greens, One Nation, Xenophon and the Liberal Party. However it ends up, this Bill signals the abandonment of principle within the once proud Liberals. They are now doing exactly what they rightly condemned when Labor were in government.
Back then, Labor announced a Gonski 1.0 education package that spent very little whilst they were in power but promised to spend up big in five years’ time. They sought to bind future parliaments to finding billions of dollars to fund Labor promises. Gonski 1.0 was a sham then and rightly criticised as a ‘pie in the sky’ promise by considered minds. I called it Conski 1.0.
Now, the Liberals are promising their own version of Labor’s policy with the selling point of ‘its it’s slightly less bad than the other team!’ It still promises huge amounts of money over the next decade whilst delivering very little money under this government’s watch.
Importantly, the cash splash thrown at the education system has no accountability. It isn’t dependent on schools improving educational outcomes for students or improving our plummeting international rankings in terms of science or math. It is simply a guarantee of more money regardless of performance. There isn’t even a requirement that it be spent on education – it can be applied to whatever scheme, agenda or bureaucracy a school decides.
For those who have fought so hard against the indoctrination of our children through programs like the misnamed Safe Schools initiative, I say “look out, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
If this Bill passes it will literally be an education free-for-all dominated by the militant Australian Education Union and ideological warriors in State and Federal education departments.
Our children deserve better. They deserve an education that will equip them with the foundational learning critical to our future. The ability to be literate and numerate to an internationally competitive standard. An understanding of the importance of the underpinnings of Western Civilisation, our history, democratic traditions and the need to defend them all to conserve our way of life. I respectfully submit that gender theory, climate change alarmism and the black armband view of Australian history can be omitted from the curriculum in favour of reading, writing, maths and science.
Now I note that there will be winners and losers from this Bill and there are strong public voices as a result. However, silencing the most strident voices shouldn’t be the goal of policy. It has to be built around meaningful outcomes and getting good value for taxpayers’ money.
This Bill does neither and accordingly it doesn’t have my support. I know there is a better way.