Labor, the Coalition and Greens all claim to be offering funding plans in full. But we need to talk about how to get money to those who need it most

When the previous Labor government implemented David Gonski’s schools funding report through needs-based agreements with the states, it and the Australian Education Union made the Gonski name the gold-standard. The campaign’s lime green shirts proclaimed “I give a Gonski”, as if that was all the wearer need say.

But then Malcolm Turnbull and the education minister, Simon Birmingham, stood side by side with Gonski when announcing their new schools funding plan. Increasing federal funding to a fixed proportion of the schools resource standard is a different model, but applied the same principle (funding on need) and seemingly had the Gonski stamp of approval.

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