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States Grants (School Assistance) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1992
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Employment, Education and Training
To provide for cost supplementation of 1992 grants for schools; extend eligibility for the English as a Second Language program; and increase funding for the Award Restructuring Assistance program.
Commonwealth grants to the States and Territories represent approximately 11% of total spending on government schools (the remainder is contributed by the States/Territories) and approximately 35% of total spending on non- government schools (the remainder being jointly met by the States/Territories- 19% and private sources- 46%). 1 Funds are provided in accordance with resource agreements concluded with the States/Territories, which set out agreed performance criteria. Assistance to non- government schools is based on the financial need of school concerned.
The main forms of Commonwealth grants to the States/Territories are for recurrent and capital expenditure. General recurrent grants in 1992 for government and non- government schools will total $2 2819 million ($954.5 million for government schools and $1 327.4 million for non- government schools). 2 Capital grants in 1992 for government and non- government schools will total $309.9 million ($210.5 million for government schools and $99.4 million for non- government schools). 3 Total Commonwealth schools funding in 1992 will total $2 652.9 million, compared to $2 586.5 million in 1991. 4
In addition to providing recurrent and capital grants, the Commonwealth funds a number of special programs that apply to both government and non- government schools. The programs include the English ss a Second Language (ESL) program and the Award Restructuring Assistance Program (ARAP). The ESL program aims to improve the educational participation and outcomes for ESL students by developing their English language competence, and making it easier to take part in mainstream education. 5 The ARAP program aims to assist with the costs of moving to a nationally agreed benchmark salary for teachers who are at the top of the incremental scale and assist with the introduction of the Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) classification. The AST classification aims to give a career path for highly skilled classroom teachers who would otherwise have to leave classroom teaching to further their careers. 6
The ESL program has two elements, the General Support element and the New Arrivals element. The General Support element "... assists government and non- government schools and education authorities with the provision of specialist services specifically directed at improving the English language competence of ESL students who are resident in Australia (including those born in Australia) and who have reached a level of English language competence which enable them to participate in mainstream classes." 7 Commonwealth funding in 1992 for the General Support element will total $49.4 million. 8 The New Arrivals element provides "... assistance on a per student basis for students newly arrived in Australia with minimal or no English language skills who are undertaking a specifically organised program of English language instruction." 9 Under this element, a once- only payment ($2504 in 1992) is provided for each eligible student and paid to the educational authority providing the student's initial course of instruction. 10
The key elements of ARAP, which started in 1991, is the move to a national benchmark salary for teachers of $38 000 and introduction of ASTs. ARAP applies to that element of teachers salaries attributable to award restructuring outside general wage movements. Government and non- government school authorities are reimbursed for the Commonwealth share of costs incurred. Non- government schools receive the Commonwealth share calculated on the weighted average salary increase for the non- government teacher salaries in the State. 11 In 1992, the Commonwealth will provide $53.031 million to the government sector and $53.143 million for the non- government sector under ARAP. 12
Cost supplementation refers to the practice of adjusting the previous years grants to take account of cost increases in that year.
A new section 4AA, that will be inserted into the Principal Act by clause 4, will allow the Minister to declare a valid visa to be a `recognised visa'. The effect of such a declaration, combined with clause 3, will be to extend eligibility for ESL to any valid visa subject to such a declaration.
Clause 5 will repeal the various Schedules to the Principal Act and substitute new Schedules. The new Schedules provide for cost supplementation of 1992 grants.
Schedule 19 of the Principal Act sets out total funding for ARAP for 1990- 92. Currently, that total is $174.098 million. A new Schedule 19 will be substituted into the Principal Act by clause 5 of this Bill that will increase the total to $192.655 million (up 10.6% on the current total).
1. Budget Statements 1992- 93, Budget Paper No. 1, p. 3.51.
5. Department of Employment, Education and Training, Review 1992, pp. 35 and 36.
6. Ibid., at p. 31.
7. Department of Employment, Education and Training, 1992- 93 Programs, p. 24.
9. Ibid., at p. 25.
11. Ibid., at p. 17.
Bills Digest Service 3 December 1992
Parliamentary Research Service
This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.
Commonwealth of Australia 1992.
Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.
Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1992.