Monday, July 2, 2012

Education: the case for equity over elitism

I wrote a piece for the MamaMia website, up today, about the future of education funding in Australia.
To me, it makes sense on every front to throw as much money as possible into giving all kids access to a top-notch education at their local school.

I find it particularly frustrating to see the campaign for greater education funding constantly sidelined by the debate about private versus public education.

This shouldn’t be about where you choose to educate your own kids. This is about equity and trying to do all we can to give every child a fighting chance at maximising their potential, no matter their background or the size of their parents' wallet.

In constantly banging on about "choice", we forget that choice is still a luxury for most. Does that mean kids from poorer families are less deserving of high-quality teaching and facilities?

At the end of the day, this is also about the kind of culture and community we want to create and be part of: one where we care about everyone's right to a great education, or one that urges individual families to "buy" their kids "the best". What would you prefer?

The Gonski Review has recommended a comprehensive change to the way our schools are funded — directing money toward those with the greatest need — and called for an extra $5 billion to be injected into schools as a matter of urgency.

But so far the Gillard Government has failed to act.

As parents, we have a potent stake in the future and the power to push for change on behalf of all kids. If this all makes sense to you, please register your support at I Give a Gonski.