How Mark Coulton voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should implement the Coalition's new funding policy, proposed under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and dubbed "Gonski 2.0", so that it replaces the previous Labor Government's Gonski agreements

Division Mark Coulton Supporters vote Division outcome

29th May 2017, 7:09 PM – Representatives Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the bill's main idea, which means that they can now discuss it in more detail. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time.

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill was introduced to implement the Coalition Government's new school funding proposal. Unfortunately, at the time of this vote there was still no bills digest to explain exactly what the new proposal is, but there is a very helpful and easy to understand explanation on The Conversation by Associate Professor Misty Adoniou. As a brief summary:

  • the proposal offers more money for schools, but less than the previous Labor Government had offered;
  • every student will attract the same amount of funding but the amount of funding that the federal government will provide (as opposed to the state governments) is not equal between government and non-government schools (that is, the federal government will provide 80% of the funding for non-government schools but only 20% for government schools, with the states paying the difference);
  • those in need will get more funding, but the Government still doesn't have any proposal for how this will work or even how many students will be eligible for this, which leaves a big question mark over the whole proposal.

How are schools currently funded?

ABC News has created a handily jargon-free summary of how Australian schools are funded.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

29th May 2017, 7:02 PM – Representatives Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Don't agree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted against a motion that asked the House to disagree with the main idea of the bill. In other words, to reject the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, the motion was to not read the bill for a second time.

The motion had been introduced by Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek (MP for Sydney).

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill was introduced to implement the Coalition Government's new school funding proposal. Unfortunately, at the time of this vote there was still no bills digest to explain exactly what the new proposal is, but there is a very helpful and easy to understand explanation on The Conversation by Associate Professor Misty Adoniou. As a brief summary:

  • the proposal offers more money for schools, but less than the previous Labor Government had offered;
  • every student will attract the same amount of funding but the amount of funding that the federal government will provide (as opposed to the state governments) is not equal between government and non-government schools (that is, the federal government will provide 80% of the funding for non-government schools but only 20% for government schools, with the states paying the difference);
  • those in need will get more funding, but the Government still doesn't have any proposal for how this will work or even how many students will be eligible for this, which leaves a big question mark over the whole proposal.

How are schools currently funded?

ABC News has created a handily jargon-free summary of how Australian schools are funded.

Motion text

''the House declines to give the bill a second reading because the bill:

(1) would result in a $22.3 billion cut to Australian schools, compared with the existing arrangements;

(2) would see an average cut to each school of around $2.4 million;

(3) removes extra funding agreed with states and territories for 2018 and 2019, which would have brought all under resourced schools to their fair funding level;

(4) would particularly hurt public schools, which receive less than 50 per cent of funding under the Government's $22.3 billion cut to schools, compared to 80 per cent of extra funding under Labor's school funding plan; and

(5) results in fewer teachers, less one-on-one attention for our students and less help with the basics''.

No No (strong) Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 2 100 100
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 100 100

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 100 / 100 = 100%.

And then