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- Up to $10 billion in spending cuts aimed at inflation fight
- Civilians crushed under rubble as residential buildings, hospitals hit
- This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Funding boost needed to overhaul ‘entrenched’ disadvantage in schools: report
The gap between the nation’s richest and poorest school students is now firmly entrenched, warns a major report that calls for the rollout of a suite of new performance targets and a massive boost to public school funding.
School systems would need to hit higher attendance and NAPLAN targets and provide greater funding transparency, while the best teachers could be sent to the poorest classrooms, under an expert panel’s proposals to the nation’s education ministers as part of a new 10-year funding agreement.
School systems would need to hit higher attendance and NAPLAN targets under the expert panel’s report.Credit: iStock
The report, ahead of the next National School Reform Agreement, found the achievement gap between the richest and poorest students was growing and inequality was now “entrenched”. It called for all public schools across the country to be fully funded as a matter of urgency.
“Australia has one of the highest levels of social segregation across schools in OECD countries. The impacts of concentration of disadvantage can be severe and result in poorer education outcomes,” the panel’s report, Improving Outcomes for All, said.
NAPLAN data showed the learning gap for disadvantaged students compared with their more advantaged peers rose from 1.4 years in 2008 to 2.3 years in 2022 for year 3 reading.
Continue reading the full story here.
Up to $10 billion in spending cuts aimed at inflation fight
Returning to Australia, almost $10 billion in federal spending will be either cut or pumped into other priorities in this week’s budget update.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher will reveal in the mid-year budget update tomorrow, that despite trying to reduce expenditure, the government will have to spend more in areas ranging from controlling an outbreak of fire ants to removing a decrepit oil production vessel in the Timor Sea.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher will, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers, announce almost $10 billion in cuts and spending changes in the mid-year budget update.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
Budget watchers are expecting Chalmers and Gallagher to forecast a much-reduced budget deficit for 2023-24. In May, they forecast a deficit of $13.9 billion but monthly figures since then suggest the budget is about $9 billion stronger than expected.
This follows the first budget surplus in 15 years in 2022-’23 which, at $22.1 billion, is the largest on record in dollar terms.
Learn more on the cuts here.
Civilians crushed under rubble as residential buildings, hospitals hit
And in an update to the Middle East conflict, Palestinians dug under crushed buildings overnight to recover the bodies of families killed in strikes around Gaza.
It comes as Israeli forces battled militants in the territory’s two largest cities, where many thousands of civilians are still trapped by the fighting.
Israeli troops are seen near the Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel.Credit: AP
Residents said battles went on in and around the southern city of Khan Younis, where Israeli ground forces opened a new line of attack last week. Battles were also still under way in parts of Gaza City and the urban Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, where large areas have been reduced to rubble.
Israel has pledged to keep fighting until it removes Hamas from power, dismantles its military capabilities and gets back all of the hostages taken by militants during Hamas’ October 7 surprise attack into Israel that ignited the war.
The Israeli campaign has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians and driven nearly 85 per cent of the territory’s 2.3 million people from their homes.
Here’s the latest on the war, from AP.
This morning’s headlines at a glance
Good morning, and thanks for your company.
It’s Tuesday, December 12. I’m Caroline Schelle, and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.
Here’s what you need to know before we get started:
- Almost $10 billion in federal spending will be either cut or pumped into other priorities in this week’s budget update.
- Former Indigenous affairs Ken Wyatt says the Voice referendum was too complicated as he called on national cabinet to focus on closing the gap and reviewing Indigenous spending.
- A shortfall of 229,000 workers is looming across the infrastructure sector, with warnings it will add to ongoing cost pressures on everything from steel to quarry rocks.
- School systems would need to hit higher attendance and NAPLAN targets, under an expert panel’s proposals to the nation’s education ministers as part of a funding agreement.
- Australia’s building industry is split over plans to end the use of engineered stone as major developers Lendlease and Mirvac back a national ban.
- University chiefs are warning against the use of levies or caps on overseas students after the federal government said it could take further steps to curb arrivals.
- Overseas, smaller nations have lashed the wording of a draft text from the COP28 climate summit with one saying “we did not come to sign our death warrant”.
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