Imagining “national” funding in the Australian federation: The Gonski Review and the Schooling Resource Standard
Keywords:scalecraft, policy mobilities, Gonski, school funding, federations
This paper takes the landmark review into the federal funding of schools in Australia, known as the Gonski Review (2011), as an illustrative case to demonstrate the scalar practices involved in policy production and enactment. Its primary argument is that, while its core recommendation was a needs-based funding model for the federal government funding of schools, the Gonski Review also articulates an aspiration for the translation of this funding model into a comprehensively national approach. This is done, I argue, through important practices of scalar imagining and reasoning (Papanastasiou, 2017b). However, these national aspirations sit uneasily with the realities of schooling and school funding in the Australian federation, which includes constitutional arrangements, legislation, and policy principles that distribute responsibility for funding across multiple spaces of governance. Drawing on documentary evidence, I argue that scalar tensions are produced between these national aspirations and the realpolitik of Australian federalism. By challenging “the national” as a coherent and predetermined “scale,” these findings reinforce the importance of attending to the mediating forces of subnational governments, as well as global policy influences, when thinking about policy mobilities in federations.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Elisa Louise Di Gregorio
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