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States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Legislation Amendment Bill 2004

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2002-2003-2004

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATES GRANTS (PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE) LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training, the

Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP)

 



 

STATES GRANTS (PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE) LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Bill is to appropriate additional funding under the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects Programme for the Tutorial Credits Initiative in 2004 and to correct a technical defect in the socioeconomic (SES) funding phasing in arrangements for non-government schools under the General Recurrent Grants Program so that schools will receive their correct entitlements for the 2004 program year.

 

The Bill also repeals the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1992 and the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1996 which are both now redundant.

 

The Australian Government announced on 19 May 2004 the establishment of a trial Tutorial Credit Initiative in terms 3 and 4 of 2004.  This initiative is an innovative approach to providing additional support to students and aims to assist students to progress in their schooling and to achieve minimum reading standards, as expressed in the national reading benchmarks.  The Tutorial Credit Initiative aims to improve the reading skills of students that did not achieve the Year 3 national reading benchmark in 2003.

 

The trial Tutorial Credit Initiative will provide additional assistance to parents of those students who have not met the Year 3 reading benchmark in 2003, in the form of a $700 Tutorial Credit, so that they can access individual tuition assistance for their child, outside of school hours.  It will give parents choice and advice in the selection of tutors and will be administered by brokers who will be responsible for the engagement of tutors that are appropriately qualified, screened and vetted.

 

When this initiative was announced, only four states - Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, reported to parents their child’s performance against the national benchmarks.  Other States that have agreed to report to parents their child’s performance against national benchmark standards will also now be included in the trial.

 

In order to expand the number of states included in this trial initiative, additional funding is required under the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects programme for 2004.   This additional funding will also enable other authorities, once they have committed to reporting the 2003 Year 3 reading benchmark results to parents, to participate in the Tutorial Credits Initiative. 

 

This Bill also amends the Act to exclude the 2004 program year from the operation of the method statements contained in Sections 59, 60 and 61 and instead include that year among the exceptions to the general rule contained in subsections 59(5), 60(5) and 61(4).  This amendment meets the original intent of the Act that all schools will be funded at their full socioeconomic status (SES) entitlement by 2004.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The Bill provides additional funding for the Tutorial Credits Initiative of $11.019 million in program year 2004 (in final year 2000 prices).  This amount is subject to supplementation as prescribed in the Act.

 



 

STATES GRANTS (PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE) LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2004

 

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

Provides for the Act to be cited as the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Legislation Amendment Act 2004.

 

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

Provides for the Act to commence on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent except for the repeal provisions in Schedule 2 which commence either on the day of Royal Assent or 1 January 2005, whichever is the later.

 

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

Provides that each Act that is specified in a Schedule is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule and that any other item in a Schedule has effect according to its terms.

 

 



 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000

 

 

Items 1 to 6

 

Insert new paragraphs 59(5)(f) and 60(5)(f), amend subsections 61(3) and (4) and paragraph 61(4)(a) and insert a new paragraph 61(4)(c) to have the effect of correcting a technical defect in the socioeconomic (SES) funding phasing-in arrangements for non-government schools under the General Recurrent Grants Program so that schools will receive their correct entitlements for the 2004 program year.

 

 

Item 7

 

Amends the table in Part 1 of Schedule 8 (which appropriates grants for targeted assistance) to appropriate additional funding under the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and Projects Programme for the Tutorial Credits Initiative for the 2004 program year.

 



 

Schedule 2—Repeals

 

Items 1 and 2

 

Repeal the redundant States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1992 and States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1996 .