ACT Public Schools Hit With Funding Cut While Private Schools Got a Massive Funding Increase

The following are the notes and slides of a talk given to the ACT Council of P&C Associations by Trevor Cobbold on 25th of February. It shows that changes in school income and government funding have hugely favoured Catholic and Independent schools over public schools since 2009. In particular, government funding of public schools has been cut while private schools received large increases in funding. Moreover, public schools face further cuts in funding as a result of the bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and ACT Governments in December 2018. In contrast, private schools will continue to be over-funded under the agreement and as a result of another special funding deal by the Commonwealth

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The Federal Government Has a National Responsibility to Fund Public Education

The call by the former head of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, for the Federal Government to hand over all responsibility for school funding to the States would have disastrous consequences for the nation. If pursued, it will only ever apply to public schools because the Coalition and Labor will never agree to ending the Federal role in funding private schools. Ending Federal funding for public schools would undermine national education, social and economic goals,

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New Figures Show Huge Funding Increases for Private Schools & Cuts to Public Schools

The following is a summary of a new Education Research Paper published by Save Our Schools. The full paper can be downloaded below.

New figures show that government (Commonwealth and State) funding increases massively favoured private schools over public schools between 2009-10 and 2017-18. Government funding for private schools increased by $1,779 per student, adjusted for inflation, while funding for public schools was cut by $49 per student. The increase for private schools was 18.9% while funding for public school students was cut by 0.4%.

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Call for Private Schools to Pay Local Government Rates

Private schools should pay rates according to the Municipal Association of Victoria. It claims that local councils are missing out on millions of dollars in revenue because private schools are exempted from paying rates. It says the exemptions are unfair and inequitable as other ratepayers must pay more to cover the revenue loss. 

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School Spending Cuts Lead to Declines in Student Achievement

A new study has found that recession-induced spending cuts in school education in the United States led to declines in student achievement, particularly in school districts serving economically disadvantaged and minority students. It is the second study in recent years showing the effect of spending cuts and the 27th study since 2015 showing that school expenditure has a significant effect on student achievement.

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The Facts About School Funding in the Northern Territory

Total government funding of Northern Territory private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased massively between 2009 and 2017 while funding for public schools was cut. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increases for private schools were 20-30 times that for public schools.

The NT Government took the opportunity of increased Commonwealth funding for public schools to massively cut its own real funding of public schools.

Government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring private schools. About 83% of disadvantaged students in the Northern Territory are in public schools and 88% of disadvantaged schools are public schools.

Under the new Commonwealth/Northern Territory funding agreement, NT public schools will continue to be badly under-funded to 2023 and beyond while private schools will be nearly fully funded by 2023.

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New Study Shows that Increased Funding Improves Student Outcomes

The evidence that increased expenditure on schools improves student outcomes continues to accumulate. Yet another study has found that it increases test scores, reduces drop-out rates and increases tertiary education enrolments.

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The Facts About School Funding in the ACT

Total government funding per student in ACT public schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) was cut between 2009 and 2017. In contrast, per student funding for Catholic schools was massively boosted and Independent schools received a lesser but significant increase. Public schools endured a massive cut in funding during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 while Catholic schools received a huge boost in funding and Independent schools a small increase.

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The Spending Arms Race Between Elite Private Schools Is Out of Control

The arms race in opulence and ostentation between elite private schools is out of control as revealed by a new ABC investigation. Australia’s four richest schools spent more on new facilities than the poorest 1,800 schools combined between 2013 and 2017. Elite private schools spend millions and millions in competing over lavish facilities. This arms race is fuelled by big increases in government funding.

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The Facts About School Funding in Tasmania

Total government funding per student in Tasmanian private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by about seven times that for public schools between 2009 and 2017. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increase for private schools was about 50% more than that for public schools.

The Tasmanian Government cut real funding by $598 (-6.3%) per student between 2009 and 2013. It increased real funding significantly in the Gonski period of 2013 to 2017 by $465 per student, but not sufficiently to offset the earlier cut. As a result, public schools had far fewer human and material resources per student in 2017 than in 2009 and far less than available in Independent private schools and a little less than in Catholic schools.

Overall, government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring the more privileged, better-off school sectors and students. About 85% of disadvantaged students in Tasmania are in public schools and 96% of disadvantaged schools are public schools.

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