Private school funding shows ‘neglect’ of public students

                                                                                              February 03, 2021


A new report has shown that federal funding for private schools continues to grow at a faster rate than for public schools.

The Productivity Commission review reveals that, over the past decade, spending per student in non-government schools increased by 3.3 per cent per year compared with just 1.4 per cent for government schools.

Despite the Turnbull government passing needs-based funding legislation in 2017 under Gonski 2.0, with $23.5 billion to schools over a decade, the Morrison government then tipped in a further $4.6 billion for the Catholic and independent sector.

That money included a $1.2 billion fund in the guise of a “choice and affordability” program, which has been labelled by Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos as “nothing more than a slush fund” for private schools.

He said the funding discrepancy amounted to “deliberate neglect of public school students and their parents”.

“While public schools remain underfunded, at approximately 90 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard – the minimum agreed funding levels considered necessary to give all children the opportunity to reach their full potential – governments continue to deliberately over-fund private schools,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“Since 2013, with the election of the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments, private school funding has increased at twice the rate of public schools –10.8 per cent versus 21.7 per cent.

“This is deliberate government neglect of the public system.”

The report revealed that between 2017-18 and 2018-19 the federal government spent $116 more per student per year for those in the public system, but $336 more for those in the non-government system.