A critical analysis of the centre for independent studies (CIS) report, ‘school funding on a budget’

Year: 2015

Author: Lingard, Bob

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper will analyse the CIS Report, School Funding on a Budget (2014), written by Jennifer Buckingham. It will analyse the text and its framing discourses as a ‘research for policy’ document, but also as exemplary of think-tank research as a particular genre. The analysis will be situated against think-tank literature and the broader articulated frames of the CIS (promotion of ‘liberty, the rule of law, free enterprise, and an efficient democratic government). The report itself focuses on how education expenditure can be cut in the context of the so-called ‘debt crisis’ that framed the Abbott-Hockey 2014 federal budget. The Report is a component part of the CIS TARGET30 campaign that wants government expenditure reduced by 30% of GDP by 2023. In that context the report offers eight proposals for cutting government expenditure on education (revision of the federal funding model, abolition of the federal department of education, reduction of costs of state bureaucracies, removal of mandatory class sizes, provision of bursaries for disadvantaged students to attend non-government schools, charge high-income families to attend government schools, reduce oversupply of teachers by elevating entrance standards to teacher education degrees). The paper will deconstruct and critique these proposals as an attempt to dismantle public schooling.