‘No school will lose’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Shane Ni­chols

ALL the schools in the fed­eral seat of Le­ich­hardt – “with­out ex­cep­tion, ev­ery sin­gle school, gov­ern­ment or pri­vate” – will re­ceive a boost in fund­ing over the next decade un­der the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s lat­est ed­u­ca­tion plan, ac­cord­ing to MP Warren Entsch.

Re­ply­ing to ques­tions from the Gazette, Mr Entsch ad­dressed con­cerns in the elec­torate that its schools may suf­fer.

A row has been rag­ing in the na­tional press be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the Na­tional Catholic Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion, in par­tic­u­lar, over what the NCEC claimed was a cut in fund­ing in favour of other pri­vate schools.

The NCEC is mo­bil­is­ing for a re­sis­tance cam­paign to the fund­ing changes, along the lines of the min­ing lobby’s anti-min­ing tax cam­paign some years ago. They plan to tar­get mar­ginal fed­eral seats.

Mr Entsch said the new fund­ing scheme an­nounced in May met the Gon­ski rec­om­men­da­tions and was “a good news story for our re­gion”.

“Not one school in the seat of Le­ich­hardt, large or small, will get less fund­ing.

“Ev­ery school will get an in­crease,” he said.

Un­der the Gon­ski rec­om­men­da­tions, the Com­mon­wealth should fund 80 per cent of in­come for pri­vate and in­de­pen­dent schools, with the State con­tribut­ing 20 per cent.

For pub­lic schools, the State con­trib­utes 80 per cent of their in­come and the Com­mon­wealth 20 per cent.

Ac­tual fund­ing amounts have been less than this in the past but the new school fund­ing model will en­sure the Com­mon­wealth is con­tribut­ing the full amount, Mr Entsch said.

The gov­ern­ment had set up a trans­par­ent sys­tem whereby any­one could see what all the schools were get­ting.

He blamed the state gov­ern­ment’s sys­tem of fund­ing for some of the con­fu­sion that had al­lowed the claims and counter claims to go on.

It was due to the level of dis­ad­van­tage in Le­ich­hardt that ev­ery school was go­ing to re­ceive boosted fund­ing.

“The bulk of the schools are get­ting a multi-mil­lion dol­lar in­crease,” Mr Entsch said.

Some schools would get large sums, the big­gest “bonus” go­ing to St An­drews in Red­lynch which will re­ceive nearly $34 mil­lion.

It means that St Au­gus­tine’s in Moss­man will pick up an ad­di­tional $4.789 mil­lion.

Moss­man State High will get an ex­tra $7,098,000.

Port Dou­glas State School will re­ceive an ex­tra $2,407,100.

Miallo will get $1,540,500; Moss­man State School $2,576,500.

“Any par­ent or teacher or par­ent can go the web­site [Ed­u­ca­tion.gov.au/qual­i­tyschools web­site.] and see ex­actly how much per stu­dent there is, and what the in­crease is, over the next 10 years,” Mr Entsch said.

The bulk of the schools are get­ting a multi-mil­lion dol­lar in­crease

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