Schools take $2.3m hit

FUND­ING REDI­RECTED TO EN­SURE MORE EQ­UITY, SAYS MIN­IS­TER

Canning Times - - NEWS - Jaime Shurmer

WIL­LET­TON Se­nior High School has taken a se­cond fi­nan­cial hit in the State Bud­get, with about $1 mil­lion moved to smaller schools.

Ross­moyne Se­nior High School will lose a sim­i­lar amount, bring­ing the to­tal cut across the two schools to $2.3 mil­lion.

River­ton MLA Mike Na­han ac­cused the La­bor Party of pun­ish­ing schools for be­ing suc­cess­ful.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery said the stu­dent-cen­tred fund­ing model was be­ing im­proved to en­sure a more eq­ui­table share of fund­ing.

“Big­ger schools with more stu­dents at­tracted more fund­ing, giv­ing them in­creased flex­i­bil­ity to man­age their op­er­a­tions, such as of­fer­ing more sub­jects and op­tions com­pared to smaller schools,” she said.

“Be­cause of this, more par­ents opted to send their chil­dren to th­ese schools, mean­ing big schools con­tin­ued to grow and their fund­ing in­creased. Smaller sec­ondary schools were dis­ad­van­taged.”

Schools will have their fund­ing slashed by $1145 for each stu­dent above 1200 stu­dents.

Dr Na­han said the Stu­dent-Cen­tred Fund­ing Model and the Gon­ski Model were premised on eq­ui­table fund­ing to schools on a per-stu­dent ba­sis, de­pend­ing on what year they are in.

“La­bor has ba­si­cally said that stu­dents at­tend­ing Ross­moyne and Wil­let­ton se­nior high schools are worth less than stu­dents at­tend­ing schools else­where in WA, as they will re­ceive less fund­ing to­wards their ed­u­ca­tion than other stu­dents.

“It’s phe­nom­e­nal that this is be­ing called an ‘eq­uity ad­just­ment’ when stu­dents at­tend­ing Ross­moyne and Wil­let­ton Se­nior High Schools will no longer re­ceive eq­ui­table fund­ing,” Dr Na­han said.

For Wil­let­ton Se­nior High School, it com­pounds the State Bud­get re­al­lo­ca­tion of the $11.78 mil­lion that would have built more than 20 class­rooms in Stage 3 of its re­de­vel­op­ment.

Ms Ellery dis­puted Dr Na­han’s claim that the school was left in the mid­dle of a re­build.

She said Stage 3 was not due to start un­til 2018-19.

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