Funding Agreements Need to do Better for Public Schools

 Today’s announcement that the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments will each increase funding for Western Australian public schools by 2.5% of their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) is a significant step forward. The Commonwealth is to be congratulated for breaking with the arbitrary limit on its funding of public schools set by the Turnbull Government. It is particularly pleasing that disadvantaged schools will be fully funded by 2026.

However, the new agreement has let the WA Government off the hook.  It has cut its funding share for public schools from 84.4% of their SRS in 2018 to 75% in 2024. It has also used accounting tricks to defraud public schools of another 4.4% of their SRS. The accounting tricks are retained in the new agreement and ensure the WA public schools will continue to be under-funded until at least 2029.

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Expert Panel on School Reform Must Support Closing the Gap Between Rich and Poor

Save Our Schools (SOS) today called on the Expert Panel reviewing the National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) to address the shocking gaps in school outcomes between rich and poor. Trevor Cobbold, National Convenor of SOS, said that there are massive achievement gaps between highly advantaged and highly disadvantaged students that must be closed.

“Closing the achievement gaps is the fundamental challenge facing Australian education. The Expert Panel must ensure that its policy recommendations for the next NSRA are focussed on closing the gaps. It must set clear targets to achieve greater equity in school outcomes.

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Labor Betrays Public Schools & Disadvantaged Students

The public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, today slammed the decision of the Labor Government to delay the introduction of the next National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) until 2025. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that it is an act of betrayal of under-funded public schools and disadvantaged students.

“This is Labor perfidy at its worst. Labor is denying full funding of public schools indefinitely.

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Education Ministers Must Commit to Fully Funding Public Schools

Save Our Schools calls on the Education Ministers’ meeting on Wednesday to commit to fully funding public schools by 2027. SOS National Convener, Trevor Cobbold, said that Ministers must end their silence on when public schools will be fully funded: “The inaction by governments must end”.

“Public schools are massively under-funded. At present, they are only funded at 87.1% of their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) on average across Australia and they will be under-funded indefinitely under the current arrangements. There is no plan in place to get them to 100%. As a result, public schools are missing out on about $6 billion in funding each year.

“By contrast, private schools are funded at 104.3% on average and will be over-funded for the rest of the decade.

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Media Release: Victoria is a Failed Eductaion State

The public education group, Save Our Schools, today called on candidates in the state election to commit to fully funding public schools. National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said “far from being the education state, Victoria is a failed education state”.

“It was a premature step by the Andrews Government to change Victorian car number plates to read ‘The Education State’. The latest NAPLAN school results show this to be a mistake; the number plates should say: ‘A Failed Education State.’

“Victoria is a failed education state because it has failed disadvantaged students and public schools. Funding failures are a key contributor to the education failure.

“Successive Commonwealth and Victorian governments have failed to fully fund public schools with the result that they are vastly under-funded to meet the learning needs of disadvantaged students, over 80% of whom attend public schools.

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Stop the Stage 3 Tax Cuts for the Rich

Save Our Schools today called on the Albanese Government to ditch the Stage 3 tax cuts for the rich. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said the tax cuts are indefensible when public education and other services face a funding crisis. “New economic studies show that the tax cuts will only serve to boost inequality without any economic benefit”.

“The tax cuts will cost $243 billion over the next ten years according to new estimates by the Parliamentary Budget Office and over $150 million will go to the top 20% of income earners. This massive windfall for the richest people in Australis will exacerbate inequality and those most in need will be denied key services.

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Media Release: A Public Education Agenda for the New Education Minister

Save Our Schools (SOS) today presented a public education agenda for the new Minister for Education, Jason Clare. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that Labor’s silence on crucial issues in public education must end: “The new Minister must step up for public schools”.

“Labor went to the election without an agenda for public education. It cannot be a do nothing government on public education. There are major issues and challenges facing public education that the new Minister must take action on.

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Govt Funding Increases are Grossly Unfair – They Favour the Most Advantaged Over the Most Disadvantaged

Government funding for private schools increased by six times that for public schools since 2009-10 according to new research by Save Our Schools. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said the heavy bias against public schools is grossly unfair.

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Private Schools Over-Funded by $6 Billion: Public Schools Under-Funded by $60 Billion

New research by Save Our Schools shows that private schools will be over-funded by $6 billion from 2021 to 2029 under current funding arrangements while public schools will be under-funded by nearly $60 billion. SOS national Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the new figures show that school funding in Australia is heavily biased against public schools.

“The Morrison Government has abandoned all pretence at funding private schools according to need and it has washed its hands of ensuring that public schools are fully funded. Private schools are lavishly funded while public schools are starved of funds needed to make a difference for the vast majority of disadvantaged students.

“The blatant favouring of privilege over disadvantage is unconscionable. Australia has one of the most inequitable education systems in the OECD. Achievement gaps between rich and poor are huge because preferential funding of private schools gives them a massive human and material resource advantage.”

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Media Release: Private School Funding Model is Inherently Flawed

An Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools shows that the new funding method for private schools introduced this year by the Morrison Government is inherently flawed and will result in massive over-funding of schools. National Convenor of Save Our Schools, Trevor Cobbold, said the model is littered with flaws and should be replaced by a new approach.

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