395% CASH HIKE— IT PAYS TO GO PRIVATE
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