School funding in Australia from 1972-73 to 2006-07: developing and using time series

2017-02-28T04:59:20Z (GMT) by White, Graeme Paul
The purpose of this study is to improve understanding of school education in Australia by examining its funding processes. The examination involves development of a framework of state and sector school funding time series data and the use of the data in the analysis of three important issues. The data are provided for the period 1972-73 to 2006-07 for state, Commonwealth and private funding for government and non-government schools. Schooling-specific price indices for recurrent and fixed capital formation purposes are developed and applied to current price data series to generate constant price series. Review of the relevant literature identified four principal areas of study related to school funding and three pervasive issues. The four study areas were concerned with the:: allocation of funds to schools; funding to achieve specific educational ends; development of statistical collections and indicator sets; and summative studies concerned with long-term education system effects. The three issues were the: changing priorities of government funding; relative funding of government and non-government schools; and, the ways school systems use funds to provide educational services. The collated framework provides school fund-flow information for planning, policy and research activities in all four areas of study and is used in conjunction with more detailed information from sources such as My School (ACARA). The analysis of the three issues demonstrated the capacity of the framework to support investigation of issues and the generation of policy and planning information. The study presents an effective approach to developing and accessing school funding time series for research investigations and analyses. Proposals are made for maintenance and future modifications and improvements to the data frameworks that will be needed over time.