Comments on Brian Croke “Gonski panel must come up with new funding model”, 29/04/2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/gonski-panel-must-come-up-with-new-funding-model/story-e6frgd0x-1226046537662
While I am sympathetic to the core of Brian Croke's argument, it appears that the article does not help much to the cause because it is confusing and the key underlying reasons apart from funding history are not well argued or explained.
Should the SES model continue to be used, it should probably take at least two factors into account:
1. The SES should be based on the actual student families of each school to be fair and accurate. This could be done by confidentially collect such information and selective audit by matching with ATO or other records, without violating privacy. This should ensure the funding will be based on actual SES as it is purported to be, as opposed to the CD’s where each student lives that can have various distortions.
2. There should be a transitional period to give schools time to adjust from the current funding to the new model, keeping funding neutrality, that is, the level of each year's total government funding for schools as a whole is not affected by the transitional arrangement during the transitional period.
PS: To add to my earlier comment, a funding model based on SES for non-government schools should also take the ability and capacity of self funding into account, though it should not completely destroy the incentives and benefits of higher self funding, that is, it should not necessarily be a dollar for dollar relationship.
Nevertheless, the needs factor should not be neglected, similar like higher taxes for higher income in the progressive tax scale that is applied in Australia and many countries in the world.