Campaspe News - - FRONT PAGE - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

PRI­VATE schools in Rochester and district are set to re­ceive 395 per cent more gov­ern­ment fund­ing than their public school neigh­bours.

A break­down of data con­tained in Can­berra’s on­line es­ti­ma­tor, re­leased just ahead of the Fed­eral Bud­get, shows St Joseph’s Pri­mary School Rochester will re­ceive $16,348 in Com­mon­wealth fund­ing per stu­dent in 2027 while Rochester Pri­mary School and Rochester Sec­ondary Col­lege will re­ceive just $4138 and $4812 re­spec­tively.

Down the road in El­more, Our Lady of the Sa­cred Heart pri­mary school will be the big­gest lo­cal win­ner ($18,693 per stu­dent) which is in stark con­trast to El­more Pri­mary School that is set to re­ceive just $5647.

Nan­neella Es­tate Pri­mary School ($5445 per stu­dent) and Lock­ing­ton Con­sol­i­dated ($4200 per stu­dent) will also miss out as public schools.

An $18.6 bil­lion in­vest­ment will see all but 24 schools in Aus­tralia re­ceive a fund­ing boost, but it will also widen the gap be­tween public and pri­vate school fund­ing in Echuca-Moama.

The level of gov­ern­ment fund­ing to schools is shaped by var­i­ous fac­tors in­clud­ing school size, so­cioe­co­nomic sta­tus, dis­abil­ity and stu­dent need.

But the head of the Aus­tralian Ed­u­ca­tion Union (AEU) claims the lat­est fund­ing ar­range­ments will hurt public schools.

“We know Mal­colm Turn­bull’s plan will only widen the gap of dis­ad­van­tage by lock­ing public schools into an in­her­ently flawed model,” AEU Fed­eral pres­i­dent Cor­rena Haythorpe said.

“If we go down this path, 84 per cent of public schools will be be­low the min­i­mum School­ing Re­source Stan­dard by 2027 — this means chil­dren will be left be­hind.”

Ms Haythorpe said schools would be $22 bil­lion worse off over the next 10 years than they would be un­der the needs-based Gon­ski agree­ments.

“Schools can’t close stu­dent achieve­ment gaps with cuts to fund­ing, it’s that sim­ple,” she said.

“Mal­colm Turn­bull is try­ing to sell his agenda but par­ents can see through it. Cuts are cuts, it doesn’t mat­ter how the gov­ern­ment spins it.”

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Si­mon Birm­ing­ham said his gov­ern­ment’s fund­ing pack­age was “truly needs-based and fair” and would pro­vide long-term cer­tainty to schools.

“Our plan will set stu­dents on the path to aca­demic ex­cel­lence and achieve real needs-based fund­ing for stu­dents from all back­grounds, in ev­ery town and city, in ev­ery re­gion and state, in ev­ery class­room,” he said.

“Our changes will en­sure all schools and states tran­si­tion to an equal Com­mon­wealth share of the re­source stan­dard in a decade, un­like the 150 years of in­equity the cur­rent ar­range­ments La­bor left us with.”

The gov­ern­ment an­nounced ear­lier this month it would en­list busi­ness­man David Gon­ski to con­duct a re­view of fund­ing in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

The re­view, dubbed ‘Gon­ski 2.0’, comes just seven years af­ter he de­liv­ered a re­port to the Gillard Gov­ern­ment with dozens of rec­om­men­da­tions, in­clud­ing a $5 bil­lion an­nual in­crease in schools fund­ing.

To ac­cess the gov­ern­ment’s on­line es­ti­ma­tor, go to www.ed­u­ca­tion.gov.au/qual­i­tyschools

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