Wealthy Victorian Private Schools Rake in Millions in Donations & Investment Income

Victoria’s wealthiest most exclusive private schools are raking in millions of dollars in donations and investment income. It exposes a major flaw in how private schools are funded. These millions are ignored in assessing the need for government funding. It means the schools are massively over-funded by the taxpayer. It shows that the funding of private schools must be overhauled.

New figures obtained from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) show that 44 Victorian private schools received nearly $300 million in donations and investment income over five years from 2017 to 2021 (download table below). Donations totalled $215 million and investment income was $84 million. Just nine schools received $175 million over the period. The average income from these sources was $6.8 million per school over the five years. Each of the 44 schools received more than $1 million over the five years.

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Private Schools Had the Biggest Funding Increases and the Biggest Falls in School Results

Some of the commentary on the Productivity Commission report on the National Schools Reform Agreement drew a simplistic and highly misleading link between increased school funding and results. It ignored the key facts that Catholic and Independent schools had the largest funding increases since 2009 and the largest declines in international test results. The figures suggest that private schools are much less efficient that public schools, especially given that public schools enrol the vast majority of disadvantaged students.

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Government Funding Failures Have Stoked Shocking Inequity in NSW School Outcomes

The following is a summary of an Education Research Paper on NSW school outcomes and funding. It can be downloaded below.

The latest NAPLAN results show shocking inequalities in school outcomes between highly advantaged and disadvantaged students in NSW. Very high proportions of low socio-economic status (SES), Indigenous and remote area students do not achieve national literacy and numeracy standards compared to very small proportions of high SES students. By Year 9, low SES, Indigenous and remote area students are several years of learning behind their high SES peers. There has been very little progress in reducing the learning gaps between rich and poor over the last decade or so.

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Labor Kicks the Public School Funding Can Down the Road

Prior to Christmas, the Federal Education Minister, Jason Clare, announced that the current National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) will be extended for another year to 2024. It has major funding implications for public sools. It stops any funding increases for public schools which enrol the large majority of disadvantaged students and it continues an absurd arrangement that defrauds public schools of funding. Private schools will also get a relatively small windfall funding gain.

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Shocking Inequalities in School Results

The following is a summary of a new research paper by Save Our Schools analysing the latest NAPLAN results. The paper can be downloaded below.

The latest NAPLAN reslts shows shocking inequalities in school outcomes between highly advantaged and disadvantaged students in Australia. Very high proportions of low socio-economic status (SES), Indigenous and remote area students do not achieve national literacy and numeracy standards compared to very small proportions of high SES students. By Year 9, low SES, Indigenous and remote area students are several years of learning behind their high SES peers. There has been very little progress in reducing the learning gaps between rich and poor over the last decade or so.

The paper shows that 29% of low SES Year 9 students were below the national reading standard in 2022, 38% were below the writing standard and 16% were below the numeracy standard. One-third of Indigenous students were below the reading standard, 44% were below the writing standard and 19% were below the numeracy standard. Nearly one-quarter of remote area students were below the reading standard, 35% were below the writing standard and 13% were below the numeracy standard. By contrast, 3% of Year 9 high SES students did not achieve the reading standard, 7% did not achieve the writing standard and 2% did not achieve the numeracy standard.

These are shocking inequities. For example, it is totally unacceptable that the percentage of low SES Year 9 students not achieving the national reading standard is 9 times that of high SES students and the proportion of Indigenous students not achieving the standard is 11 times that of high SES students. Remote area 8 times.

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Public School Students Are Robbed of Funding By Increasing Bureaucracy

Public school students in Victoria are being robbed of funding by a bloated bureaucracy There has been a huge expansion in the education bureaucracy over the past decade or more. It has far exceeded the growth in teachers and students in public schools. It has soaked up much of a very small funding increase for public schools.

Since 2009, the increase in non-teaching staff in the public education system was double that of teachers and three times the increase in students. Non-teaching staff increased by 60.4% between 2009 and 2021 compared to a 29.3% increase in teachers and an increase of 20.1% in students.

The growth in non-teaching staff has occurred at all levels of the school system – central and regional offices and in schools. The increases occurred under both Liberal and Labor Governments.

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Victoria is a Failed Education State

The following is a summary of a research paper on school outcomes and funding in Victooria.. The paper can be downloaded below.

Victoria is not the education state it claims. It is a failed education state because it has largely failed to improve results for disadvantaged students, the vast majority of whom attend public schools. Funding failures are a major factor behind the education failure.

There have been a few successes, most notably in some Indigenous outcomes, but they are few and far between. The Victorian election is an opportunity to fix the failures. The funding of public schools is a key test for candidates and parties.

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More Fudges by Mr. Tudge

The Shadow Minister for Education, Alan Tudge, has again fudged figures on school funding and school results. He is a serial offender here. He regularly resorted to fudging data while Minister for Education to denigrate Australia’s school performance. His fudges obscure the facts that school funding increases have heavily favoured private schools for the last two decades.

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Millionaires Who Pay No Tax Rob the Poor

New figures published by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) last month dramatically show how the rich rob from the poor. They rob from the poor by paying no or minimal taxes which siphons funding from key services such as public education, health care, aged care and the NDIS. The ATO figures show that a tiny minority of very wealthy individuals feed their wealth at the expense of millions of low income families who rely on these crucial public services.

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Labor Should Scrap the Stage 3 Tax Cuts for the Rich

The Albanese Government should scrap the Stage 3 tax cuts for the rich. They are indefensible when public education and other critical human services face a funding crisis. New studies show that there are no trickle-down economic benefits from tax cuts for the rich. They only to boost inequality directly and indirectly.

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