All power to the states: keep out the Commonwealth to fix education

Returning control over education to the states would “greatly enhance subsidiarity and likely enhance accountability, efficiency, effectiveness and fairness,” argues researcher Bronwyn Hinz. Failing that, a partial solution would still be an improvement on the current system.

Reducing most or all Commonwealth involvement in school funding and policy would likely improve school outcomes, argues Melbourne School of Government Research Fellow Bronwyn Hinz in a report out this week.


Schooling Federalism: Evaluating the Options for Reform (right) assesses the four reform options proposed by the Reform of the Federation Taskforce on the six metrics set out in the Reform of the Federation discussion paper: subsidiarity; equity, efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery; national interest considerations; accountability; durability; and fiscal sustainability.

Hinz found that the proposal for full devolution best met those criteria. Returning full responsibility to the states for both private and public schools in their jurisdiction “will greatly enhance subsidiarity and likely enhance accountability, efficiency, effectiveness and fairness,” she told The Mandarin.

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  • stephensaunders49

    No point discussing this unless we say ‘hi’ to the federal elephant in the room. No other OECD country would do as we do, giving nearly 30% of the national schools kitty, no-strings-attached, to religious schools that can charge uncapped fees and discriminate as they choose in admissions.

    We can have John Howard’s ‘values and choice’, or we can have high equity and performance. Pretty hard to maintain both at the same time. The reality is that both Liberal and Labor are firmly wedded to the current grossly unfair funding model. There’s a cone of silence.