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Issue #1493      16 March 2011

Further evidence of education funding disparities

Financial data on the My School website shows that some private schools in wealthy areas are getting more government funding per student than public schools serving low-income communities.

Australian Education Union (AEU) federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said the revelations highlighted the need for a comprehensive overhaul of school funding arrangements.

“How is it that we have reached the point where private schools serving wealthier families receive thousands more in government funding per student than public schools serving low-income communities?” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“The funding system is clearly broken and needs to be fixed. Claims by the private sector lobby that public schools always receive moregovernment funding have been proven to be totally false.”

He said that there are examples across the country where public schools are receiving less recurrent funding from government, and that it is now known that private schools, on average, received more money from governments for capital works in 2009.

“This is an unacceptable situation especially when you consider that public schools are educating the overwhelming number of students with higher needs such as those from low income families, those with a disability and those in rural and remote areas.

“The requirement to provide education for all, in every community, also drives up the cost of public education and that needs to be better recognised. The unfortunate fact is that the current funding system is blind to the real needs of students. We need to overhaul the federal funding arrangements with the central aim of ensuring that every child has access to a well-resourced public school.

“This can only be achieved by investing more in our quality public schools which are open to all children in every community across Australia.”  

Next article – Trainworks: History on the rails

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