How Brian Burston 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 Brian Burston Supporters vote Division outcome

22nd Jun 2017, 1:02 AM – Senate Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority agreed with the bill in its final form, which means the bill will now go to the House of Representatives for them to decide whether they agree that it should become law.

In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time.

What does this bill do?

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.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

21st Jun 2017, 12:27 PM – Senate Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with 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.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

21st Jun 2017, 12:23 PM – Senate Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Criticism of Gonski 2.0

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor Senator Jacinta Collins (Vic), which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate notes that this bill:

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

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

(c) locks in sector-specific payments of 80 per cent of student resource standard for non-government schools and just 20 per cent for government schools, the very opposite of a sector-lined model;

(d) sees the Commonwealth government abandon all responsibility for ensuring that Australian students reach, at a minimum, 95 per cent of the schooling resource standard;

(e) reduces funding to some wealthy overfunded schools, which Labor supports, but it also increases funding for other overfunded schools while cutting funding to some of our most vulnerable school students;

(f) would particularly hurt public schools, which receive less than 50 per cent of funding under the government's proposal compared to 80 per cent of the extra funding in Labor's school funding plan—

(g) results in only one in seven public schools reaching their fair funding level after 10 years.

absent No Not passed by a modest majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Brian Burston was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.