Public school funding gap a fraction of government spending on private sector


The Greens say that the funding shortfall to public schools could be met by reducing government spending on the overfunded private system by only a third.

A new report by the Centre for Future Work found that it would cost an additional $6.6 billion a year to ensure that all public schools receive 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard, the funding level schools require to provide the bare minimum level of staffing and resources. 98% of Australian public schools are currently underfunded.

In 2021, private schools received $18.6 billion in combined funding from the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.

Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“Everyone’s looking for reasons why student performance continues to fall and more and more kids are disengaging with their education – but the answer is staring us right in the face.

“Before we start tinkering with teacher training and methodologies, let’s make sure that there are enough teachers in schools, and enough resources and support for them to deliver a good education for our kids.

“There’s only one thing that will fix that: money. Right now, public schools don’t have enough, while private schools have too much. It’s as simple as that.

“$6.6 billion is only a third of what our governments spend on fee-charging private schools every year. And it’s not like that’s doing anything to keep those fees down; fees in some private schools have risen 80% in the past decade.

“$6.6 billion is also less than a third of the $20 billion surplus Labor found behind the back of the couch last month, and it’s one-sixth of a nuclear submarine we don’t need and absolutely no one asked for.

“Labor’s refusal to fund public schools to the minimum level calculated by Gonski – which they could do immediately – looks like pure bastardry at this point. Our kids are crying out for a chance and all they’re getting are pointless reviews and platitudes.

“The Greens are calling on Commonwealth and state and territory governments to deliver 100% of the SRS to every public school at the start of the next National School Reform Agreement, in January 2025."