Federal Budget Papers 2006 | Church Schools Favoured Over All The Rest

DOGS wish to congratulate the Australian Education Union for their analysis of the Federal Budget Papers 2006 on their website at  www.aeufederal.org.au  "Funding for Schools and VET."

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DOGS have waited in vain for the mainstream media to cover education funding but have only discovered reports on the Labour party racing along the right wing highway alongside the Coalition in their education policy. At the rate Beazley and Mundine are going they might outdistance them.

The media do not want you to know what is really going on in the Education Funding Stakes and what is buried in the Budget papers.

DOGS have looked at the raw figures and now present some quite shocking research:

  •  Total Expenditure for church schools in 2005/2006  - $5.393 billion projected to rise in 2009/10 to $6.967 billion. This represents a 29.2% increase over this period

 

  • Total Expenditure for government (public) schools in 2005/2006- $2,898 billion projected to rise in 2009/2010 to $3.280 billion. This represents an increase of 13.2% increase.

If you think this is outrageous favoritism, just keep reading:

  • Per Capita Expenditure for church schools in 2005/2006 - $4,893.5 per pupil. In 2009-2010 per capita expenditure is projected to be $6,321.8 per pupil.

 

  • Per Capita Expenditure for government (public) schools in 2005/2006 - $1,290.2 per pupil. In 2009/10 per capita expenditure is projected to be $1,460.3.

If you look at it another way, the discrimination against government (public) schools in favour of church schools is 3.8 times in 2005/2006 . In 2009/10 it rises to 4.3 times.

The figures get even worse. If you compare the increase in the period 2005/2006 to 2009/2010 in per capita terms, the Coalition Government favours a pupil in a church schools 8.4 times more than that of a pupil in Government Schools. 

The years 2007/2008 will represent the first year in which federal government expenditure on church schools is projected to be more than twice the actual amount spent on government (public) schools. In that year church schools are projected to receive $6.225 billion whereas government (public) schools are projected to receive $3.068 billion.

To take an historical perspective, the Church School lobbyists, when they pushed for State Aid in the 1960s, with politicians like Malcolm Fraser in the Education Ministry, they claimed they wanted State Aid funding to allow the church schools to maintain their post war percentage share of pupil population - in the 25 percentile. Their percentage share did decline Australia wide to 21.1% in 1977. Unfortunately, because of the massive flow of aid to church schools, there has been a 29 year successive decline from the post war high of 78.9% Australia wide in government schools to a 67.1 in 2005. But there is no church school operative that is honest enough to argue as they did in the 1960s that both government and non-government schools should retain their post war share. If this was the case, and they were consistent, fair, or even honest, the church school interest would be calling for massive cuts to their funding and a diversion of such funds to government schools, to bring them back to the 75 percentile share.

For readers interested in higher education funding,  DOGS note that the total federal funding of church schools recently surpassed that of higher education ( public and private). In 2005/2006 church school expenditure exceeded higher education spending by 3.7%. In 2009/10 however, the disparity is greatly increased. Church school funding will exceed higher education expenditure by 20.8%.

Favouritism towards church schools during the period 2005/2006 to 2009/2010, indicates clearly how the church school interest have elbowed everybody else in the competition for federal funding into the sidelines. Over this period, in percentage terms, total federal expenditure in higher education funding is projected to decline by 1.8% while vocational and other education declines by 0.9%, government (public) education declines by 0.6% and "other" declines by 0.2%.

You dont have to be a genius or Einstein to work out which group has benefited from everyone else's decline. The Church school expenditure rose by 3.5% so, they got the lot!

So much for all the crocodile tears about skill shortages and the clever country!

Cardinal Pell and Opus Dei and the church school bureaucrats reign supreme in the funding stakes, while the politicians continue to grovel.

Supporters of genuinely public education should reject the major parties and embrace the Greens in the next federal and State elections.