State Budget submission: new government, ongoing challenge

In the immediate aftermath of the 2012 state election, the QTU has released its 2012 State Budget submission, New Government – Ongoing Challenge, Securing Queensland’s Future: A Resourcing Agenda for State Schools.

Each year the QTU makes representations for improved funding for education to the state government in the lead up to the State Budget. However, this year’s submission, in addition to assessing the progress made since last year, provides a benchmark for measuring the performance of the incoming state government. Key education policy funding commitments made during the election campaign have also been noted.

The QTU is continuing a long tradition of making annual budget submissions. For many years, the submission outlined in considerable detail a long list of funding needs compiled on the basis of input from members. In more recent times, it has been thought more strategic to identify a short list of key priority areas for funding each year.

Last year, the QTU developed a new approach: a “10-year plan” with the title Securing Queensland’s Future: A Resourcing Agenda for State Schools. Rather than developing a set of specific funding priorities for one year, the agenda set out key general areas for improved funding.

The advantage of the 10-year plan approach is that it allows for a broader range of priorities to be identified, with the understanding that a state government would not be expected to deliver on all of them in any one year. The idea is that under each broad heading the QTU can highlight a number of specific funding initiatives.

The priority areas that have been identified are:

  • funding first-rate school facilities
  • improving educational outcomes
  • ensuring equity
  • attracting and retaining high quality teachers across the state
  • education leadership
  • school grants and resources
  • resourcing reforms.

This approach also allows the QTU to take into consideration factors that arise in any one year (e.g. the global economic crisis, the Queensland floods) that might influence the government’s budget priorities and capacities.  Each year there is a progress review or “report card” which identifies areas where there has been some progress and areas where there has not. Additionally, the review acknowledges funding initiatives that, while not specifically proposed by the QTU, have contributed to improvements in Queensland schools.

New Government Ongoing Challenge, Securing Queensland’s Future: A Resourcing Agenda for State School is available on the QTU website.

John McCollow
Research Officer

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Volume 117 Number 3, 20 April 2012, p10