Data obtained by the Greens shows $1.3 billion dollars is sitting unspent in school bank accounts under the failing Local Schools Local Decisions program.
The school by school data shows more than 20 schools with balances of over $10 million in unspent funds, at a time when parent bodies are desperately fundraising for essential works and supplies.
Greens MP and Education spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“We tracked down this data because we thought school communities, especially parents, deserve to know.
“Local Schools Local Decisions has been a disastrous experiment with over $1.3 billion dollars unspent.
“The Coalition’s proposed reforms announced this week are only tinkering with a very broken system that is seeing hundreds of millions of dollars unspent or misallocated.
“The proposed policy changes will do nothing to deal with the $1.3 billion sitting unspent in school bank accounts.
“Local Schools Local Decisions has shortchanged public schools and students.
“Of course there are some schools that have been saving for significant infrastructure projects and this explains some of the unspent money, but that masks a bigger truth, that Local Schools Local Decisions is a dud.
“The Greens were the only political party that opposed this creeping managerialism from the start, and I credit the work of my former colleague John Kaye who called this out so clearly.
“While billions are being handed to principals, this has not come with system-wide checks and balances ensuring basic minimums like the establishment of finance oversight committees in each school.
“The Greens will continue to press for the scrapping of LSLD so that public education funds can be allocated on educational need rather than local whim,“ Mr Shoebridge said.
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Full data available on request