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.