The Greens say new data showing the sheer scale of government overfunding of private schools puts pressure on Labor to ensure that public schools are finally fully funded in the next National School Reform Agreement with the states and territories.
Briefing documents revealed under FOI show that 1,152 private schools will be gifted $3.2 billion over and above their public funding entitlement over the next six years. Meanwhile, with the exception of the ACT, every public school system in the country is underfunded, and there is no pathway to full funding.
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“It’s pretty revolting that while most public schools don’t have enough teachers and resources to give kids a decent education, the private sector is swimming in cash.
“The promise of Gonski was that all students would receive the funding they need to have the education they deserve.
“But the gap in total funding between private and public schools is wider now than it was when David Gonski handed down his report. That’s created one of the most unequal and segregated school systems in the OECD.
“All we hear from state and federal Labor governments is that public schools are ‘on a pathway’ to full funding. That pathway is looking more and more like a road to nowhere.
“The next National School Reform Agreement is the last chance governments have to save the public system from collapse.
“We don’t need yet another expert panel to tell us what to do. We need funding. And we need it 10 years ago.”