Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to amend the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000, and for related purposes
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Introduced HR 14 Feb 2002

States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Amendment Bill 2002

2002

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

STATES GRANTS (PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE) AMENDMENT BILL 2002

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) AMENDMENT BILL 2002

OUTLINE

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 to alter the mechanism for establishment grant funding for new non-government schools to a per capita entitlement payable to all eligible schools as a standing appropriation rather than through a fixed legislated special appropriation for the 2001 to 2004 funding period.

This Bill amends the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 (the Act) to replace section 75 and Schedule 7 with new provisions setting out the per capita entitlement for eligible schools which are similar to those that apply under the General Recurrent Grants Program. This reflects how the Establishment Grants Program is administered and ensures that the amount of establishment assistance available for new non-government schools can always meet the demand.

The Bill sets out the method of calculating the entitlement to establishment assistance for a school. It also enables amounts paid to a school or school system under the current arrangements to be deducted from the school's or school system's entitlement calculated under the new arrangements. There are also transitional provisions ensuring that after the amendment to the Act comes into operation, establishment assistance for a school for the 2001 or 2002 program year cannot be less than the grants already paid for the school or school system for that year. It also ensures that the total of the grants payable for a school or school system cannot exceed the maximum amount.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

It is estimated that the Bill will appropriate about $11.9 million for the provision of establishment grant funding for the 2001-2004 program years. The States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 currently appropriates a total of $4.957 million for those program years. It is estimated that the increased funding available as a result of the Bill will be $6.9 million over the 4 years.

STATES GRANTS (PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE) AMENDMENT BILL 2002

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1 - Short Title

Provides for the Act to be cited as the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Amendment Act 2002.

Clause 2 - Commencement

Provides for the Act to commence on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

This section 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 - States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000

Part 1 - Amendments

Item 1 - Section 75

Repeals the existing section 75 and inserts a proposed new section 75 to provide for establishment grants to be paid on the basis of the number of primary and secondary students at an eligible new school on the school census day for a particular program year.

The amount of the assistance is set out as $500 per eligible primary and

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secondary student for the program year in which the school has become eligible for Commonwealth general recurrent funding and $250 per eligible primary and secondary student for the succeeding program year. These per capita amounts are a flat rate and will not be subject to indexation arrangements. It is proposed to pay schools and school systems their entitlements using the per capita calculation set out in the administrative arrangements rather than seeking to increase the total amount of funding available, thereby changing the funding mechanism for these grants from a fixed legislated special appropriation to a standing appropriation.

Proposed section 75 would also retain the Minister's discretion to approve establishment assistance up to the maximum grant amount calculated in accordance with proposed subsections 75(5) or 75(6) and clarify the methodology for payment of grants to an eligible individual school or an approved system.

Non-systemic school - proposed subsection 75(1)

Empowers the Minister to determine a grant of establishment assistance to a State for a non-systemic school for one or two program years. The schools to which this proposed subsection applies are the new schools meeting either of the circumstances described in proposed subsections 75(3) or 75(4).

The total amount of assistance cannot exceed the amount set out in proposed subsections 75(5) or 75(6).

School system - proposed subsection 75(2)

Empowers the Minister to determine a grant of establishment assistance to a State for an approved school system in that State for one or two program years. The schools to which this proposed subsection applies are the new schools meeting either of the circumstances described in proposed subsections 75(3) or 75(4).

The total amount of assistance cannot exceed the amount set out in proposed subsections 75(5) or 75(6).

Subsection (3) circumstance - proposed subsection 75(3)

Provides that for the purposes of proposed subsections 75(1) and 75(2), establishment assistance may be payable for a non-government school, if the school is a new school that commenced in 2001 or later which is covered by an application for a new school proposal made under paragraph (c) of the definition of new school proposal in subsection 45(4) of the Act.

Subsection (4) circumstance - proposed subsection 75(4)

Provides that for the purposes of subsections 75(1) and 75(2), establishment assistance may be payable for a non-government school, if the school is a new non-systemic school covered by an application made after 11 May 1999 for a new school proposal under paragraph (c) of the definition of new school proposal in section 36 of the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 1996 (the former Act) and the Minister has varied the list of non-government schools (within the meaning of the former Act) with effect from a day in 1999 or 2000 in relation to the school.

Maximum amount if subsection (3) circumstance applies - proposed subsection 75(5)

Sets out how establishment assistance is calculated for the purposes of proposed subsections 75(1) or 75(2), where a school is covered by the circumstance in proposed subsection 75(3) and has the effect of providing that, for the purposes of this calculation, the establishment amount is $500 per full-time equivalent student in the first year of the school's operation and $250 per full-time equivalent student in the second year of operation.

The maximum amount available for establishment assistance for a program year is calculated by multiplying the number of primary and secondary students at the school by the school's establishment amount (as defined in this proposed subsection) applicable to the school for the program year.

Maximum amount if subsection (4) circumstance applies - proposed subsection 75(6)


Sets out how establishment assistance is calculated for the purposes of proposed subsections 75(1) or 75(2), where a school is covered by the circumstances in proposed subsection 75(4) and has the effect of providing that, for the purposes of the calculation, the establishment amount is $500 per full-time equivalent student for the 2001 program year and $250 per full-time equivalent student for the 2002 program year.

Sets out how establishment assistance is calculated for the purposes of proposed subsections 75(1) or 75(2), where a school is covered by the circumstances in proposed subsection 75(4) and has the effect of providing that, for the purposes of the calculat



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The maximum amount available for establishment assistance for the 2001 or 2002 program year is calculated by multiplying the number of primary and secondary students at the school by the school's establishment amount (as defined in this proposed subsection) applicable to the school for the program year.

Item 2 - Paragraph 105(1)(b)

Repeals the paragraph to remove the reference to Schedule 7 as a consequence of amendments to section 75 made by Item 1.

Item 3 - Subsection 105(2)

Amends the subsection to remove the reference to paragraph 105(1)(b) as a consequence of amendments to section 75 made by Item 1 and the repeal of paragraph 105(1)(b) made by Item 2.

Item 4 - Schedule 7

Repeals Schedule 7 to the Act.

Part 2 - Transitional provisions

Item 5 - Definitions

Defines the terms commencement, new Act and old Act for the purposes of the transitional provisions in Part 2 of Schedule 1.

Item 6 - 2001 program year

This item will ensure that establishment assistance determined by the Minister for a school for the 2001 program year after the amendments to the Act made by Part 1 of Schedule 1 come into operation, cannot be less than the amount already determined by the Minister under section 75 of the old Act in relation to the school for that year.

It also has the effect of providing that the sum of the amounts of establishment assistance determined in relation to the school for the 2001 program year under the old Act and the new Act cannot exceed the maximum amount calculated under proposed subsections 75(5) or 75(6) for the 2001 program year.

Item 7 - 2002 program year

This item will ensure that establishment assistance determined by the Minister for a school for the 2002 program year after the amendments to the Act made by Part 1 of Schedule 1 come into operation, cannot be less than the amount already determined by the Minister under section 75 of the old Act in relation to the school for that year.

It also has the effect of providing that the sum of the amounts of establishment assistance determined in relation to the school for the 2002 program year under the old Act and the new Act cannot exceed the maximum amount calculated under proposed subsections 75(5) or 75(6) for the 2002 program year.

The practical effect of the transitional provisions in Items 6 and 7 is that any amounts paid in relation to a school before the amendments come into operation are to be deducted from amounts payable after the amendments come into operation so that the maximum amount calculated under the new Act is not exceeded.