‘No school will lose’
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