This article is a summary of an Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools. It can be downloaded below.
Private schools in Canberra are pressuring for a massive
across-the-board 43% increase in funding by the ACT Government. They want
Territory funding increased from about 17.5% to 25% of average government
The Catholic Education Commission, the ACT Association of
Independent Schools and the Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools
have all called for the increase to be applied to all private schools.
Undoubtedly, this will be the focus of a private school campaign in the lead up
to the ACT election this October.
The proposed increase would amount to about $19 million a
year on 2010 funding figures, increasing from $44 million to $63 million.
Catholic schools would receive an increase of $13.5 million and Independent
schools $5.4 million.
This is an incredible claim which should be rejected on
several grounds. It would compound the already privileged funding position of
high socio-economic status (SES) private schools in the ACT. It is contrary to
the new approach to school funding being developed following the Gonski review
of school funding in Australia. It would reduce the funding available to
address the major challenge facing ACT education – the large achievement gap
between rich and poor students
Continue reading “Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected”
The Government’s new school kids bonus grant to families to replace the tax rebate on education expenses is an education payment in name only. There is no requirement that it be spent on education-related expenses. It can be spent on anything. It could all be put into poker machines for all we know.
It will have no impact on student outcomes. The Government might just as well drop the money from a helicopter for all the impact it will have on education.
Continue reading “School Kids Bonus is Money for Anything But Education”
A new research paper published by Save Our Schools shows that virtually all high SES Catholic combined and secondary schools in Australia are over-funded compared to what they are entitled to according to their socio-economic capacity. Their actual funding per student is higher than the funding rate that applies to their SES score. Other private schools on the same SES scores get much less funding.
The paper challenges claims by Catholic education authorities that they re-distribute funds from high income to disadvantaged Catholic schools. It shows that these claims are misleading and untrue in many cases when actual Federal funding figures on My School are analysed.
Continue reading “High SES Catholic Schools are Over-Funded”
A new research paper published by Save Our Schools (SOS) shows that virtually all high income Catholic combined and secondary schools in Australia are over-funded compared to what they are entitled to according to their socio-economic capacity. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the report challenges claims by Catholic education authorities that they re-distribute funds from high income to disadvantaged Catholic schools.
Continue reading “Report Says Wealthy Catholic Schools are Over-Funded”
The Prime Minister’s pointed and repeated refusal to commit, even in principle or in part, to taking up the recommendation of the Gonski review to boost school funding leaves government schools very vulnerable to getting little out of the review. Yet, over-funded private schools will continue to be guaranteed their privileged funding, and many private schools may get even more as the Government goes into an election year. Continue reading “Gillard Should Go it Alone on Gonski”
A puzzling aspect of the Gonski review of school funding is its adherence to the Government’s stated policy that no school would lose a dollar of funding as a result of the review and the apparent absence of this instruction from the terms of reference of the inquiry. Continue reading “Just How Independent was the Gonski Review?”
The highlight of the Gonski report is its well-founded and important recommendation that Australia needs to spend an additional $5 billion a year on schools, predominantly government schools, so that they can address the issue of disadvantage. When all the figures are finalised, more may be needed, but as the reports says:
Australia must aspire to have a schooling system that is among the best in the world for its quality and equity, and must prioritise support for its lowest performing students. Every child should have access to the best possible education, regardless of where they live, the income of their family or the school they attend. [p. xiv]
The lowlight was that in her response to this vision, the Prime Minister repeatedly and pointedly refused to commit to the additional funding. Instead, she proposed further reviews and community discussions. She did not even promise to provide the funding when the budget was in surplus, as Tony Abbott did when he committed to a dental health care scheme. She simply turned her back on the disadvantaged.
So much for the rhetoric about closing the gap and ensuring that wealth does not determine educational outcomes.
Continue reading “Gillard Turns Her Back on the Disadvantaged”
The SES funding model is providing millions and millions of dollars in over-funding to many of Melbourne’s more privileged families and schools. In 2011, 20 primary and secondary schools in high income suburbs were over-funded by $43 million (see table below).
Total Federal Government funding for these schools was nearly double what they were entitled to under the SES scheme. Under the scheme they were only entitled to $48.7 million, but instead they got $91.8 million.
Continue reading “Gonski Review Should Terminate Funding Bonanza for the Wealthy”
The National Catholic Education Commission has called for more funding for Catholic schools by the Federal Government. It says there is a resource gap between Catholic schools and government schools and that government funding of government schools has been increasing faster than for private schools.
This claim ignores the much higher level of disadvantage in government schools compared to Catholic and other private schools. Government schools do the heavy lifting in education and they should have more resources than private schools. Their funding should be increasing faster than private schools if the achievement gaps between rich and poor, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous and between remote area and metropolitan students are to be reduced. Continue reading “It is Government Schools Which Are Under-Funded, Not Private Schools”
The following is a summary of a confidential submission to the Gonski Review of School Funding commissioned by state government education departments. It was written by Professor Richard Teese from the University of Melbourne. It says that the Australian school system has become segregated between rich and poor with government funding being spent on supporting school choice rather than reducing the achievement gap between rich and poor.
Continue reading “School Funding Should be Better Directed at Reducing Disadvantage”