Education funding: If resources were infinite, by Sabra Lane. The current Liberal Government is going right along. Listen to this from Education Minister Simon Birmingham in a recent interview:
“And that’s really critical because it flows fastest into the schools who need it most…
“And I defend it because it is a serious investment in needs-based funding, targeted to the schools and the students who need it most to make sure they get the help in their classrooms.”
“let’s get all schools up to that fair standard.”
“as the legislation now does, to do their fair share to help ensure that all schools reach a fair level of funding”
“But if it means more money and it is demonstrated that it is fairer and that’s what needs to occur, then it’s ultimately what the Turnbull Government will do.”
“that we’ve delivered a fair deal for everybody”
Sounds wonderful. Why wasn’t it done earlier?
Needs-based funding basically ends up redistributing funding from students who perform well to students who don’t. Fairer funding means less relatively for students who perform well and strive, and more for students who don’t. Divert funding share to the good kids who try hard, to help the other kids achieve more equal results. That’s awesomely fair, as the education minister made clear above, but how much is too much?
It’s a bit of a luxury really, what one would do if our dreams came true, everyone tried their hardest, and resources were infinite. It’s in line with the famous dictum of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.
Flowing from this ideology, students who are the worst are rewarded with more money because they need more. Students who excel are frowned upon because they make lesser students look inferior and this is unfair. Hmmm. The twentieth century comprehensively proved this ideological approach doesn’t work for the economy — maybe education is different?
Asian nations do the opposite and reward excellence, not mediocrity and guess which nations students are consistently the best in mathematics and the sciences?
Notice too that we take the opposite approach in sports, throwing money mainly at the best in the pursuit for excellence.