In the days and weeks before it went into caretaker mode, the previous federal government reached new school funding agreements with the state governments of Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia and the Catholic schools. (New funding arrangements for the all states and territories were written into overarching legislation passed in June.)
During the campaign, Pyne and Abbott said that they were on a "unity ticket" with Labor on school funding, promising to "honour the agreements Labor has entered into."
"Tragically," said education minister Christopher Pyne yesterday, "I have to go back to the drawing board essentially and try and create a funding model that can be implemented."
Pyne argued on the one hand that the agreements aren't real because some weren't contracted in time, and on the other hand that he needs to renegotiate all of them. He called the situation a colossal mess and a shambles.
Victoria, NSW, Tasmanian governments and Catholic schools' representatives immediately contradicted him on all counts, and warned him against backsliding. In NSW, the government is in fact already implementing the new model.
Pyne is just about the only person who thinks the new education funding arrangements are either non-existent or a shambles.
While still pledging to match the funding laid out by the Labor government over the next 4 years, he is arguing that he has a better and fairer means of distributing the same funds. The expert panel that devised the so-called Gonski school funding model offered to meet to explain it to him before he discards it, but Pyne replied that he is too busy.
"I have to get on with the job of being the education minister,’’ he said.
Nick Feik Politicoz Editor
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NSW and SA warn Coalition to honour Gonski school funding deal
"New South Wales and South Australia have warned the federal education minister, Christopher Pyne, they will fight any attempts to back out of Gonski school funding arrangements as he flagged a review of all agreements. Pyne, the federal education minister, announced he was planning to review all aspects of the Gonski funding models after discovering the agreements Victoria, Tasmania and the Catholic schools sector struck with the federal government before the election were not finalised."
Rift with Indonesia over spying deepens
"Indonesia has said that talks with Australia over people smuggling and asylum seekers have stalled because of the phone-tapping row, flatly contradicting Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. As Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono declined for the third day to make a public statement about the letter he has received from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the extent of the damage wrought by the spying revelations is becoming increasingly clear."
Without fear or favour: why we broke the spy story
"These are strange days indeed when elements of the media are arguing that stories legitimately questioning the use of power should remain hidden because they may have too great an impact. This is not an argument you normally hear from journalists. In attacking the ABC for doing its job on the Indonesian phone-tapping story, our critics have employed a series of arguments, each one weaker than the last."
We simply can't have our cake and eat it too
"Events are moving far more rapidly than public opinion. And rather than use their positions of influence to persuade the public to catch up with reality, as Paul Keating did, the politicians are lining up with public opinion as if to defy it. That makes short-term sense, but also makes it impossible for them to tackle the long-term challenges."