The Greens say new data from the Productivity Commission shows that Australian governments have abandoned the Gonski reforms, with funding growth to the private sector outstripping increases to public schools by 10% over the past decade.
The latest Report on Government Services shows that total per student funding from federal, state and territory governments to the public school sector rose from $17,920 in 2012 to $20,964 in 2021, an increase of 17%. During that same span governments increased total funding to private schools by 27%, from $9,686 per student to $12,309.
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“This report proves what a disastrous decision it was for Labor to postpone the next National School Reform Agreement by a year.
“There is currently no pathway to full public funding for the vast majority of public schools in Australia. The decades-long failure by both old parties to invest properly in our public schools is seeing educational outcomes continue to fall for our poorest and most remote students.
“Eleven years ago David Gonski said that there was growing inequality in the school system, identified funding inequality as the root cause, and provided a model to fix that.
“But instead of embracing the Gonski recommendations, successive governments have shied away from directing funding away from the private sector towards the schools that desperately need it. It’s gutless and morally indefensible.
“Our public schools need more money, and they need it now. We don’t need more working groups or more reports to tell us what every public school teacher, parent and carer already knows.
“The Greens will continue to fight to ensure that all public schools receive at least 100% of their Schooling Resource Standard at the start of the next NSRA."