Joint pa­per looks at school fund­ing

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Community News - Tim Mayne

WA Union or­gan­i­sa­tions have re­leased a pa­per aimed at out­lin­ing fund­ing cuts to South Perth’s public schools over the past two years.

The pa­per is a joint ef­fort be­tween com­mu­nity groups Putting our Kids First and Save our Ser­vices, with both or­gan­i­sa­tions hav­ing strong union back­ing.

The re­port ex­am­ines fund­ing for lo­cal schools be­tween the 2013 and 2015 cal­en­dar years.

It also com­pares how the schools stack up against other schools in the elec­torate and the across the state.

Mered­ith Ham­mat, spokesper­son for Save our Schools and Unions WA, said this was the first time the or­gan­i­sa­tions had at­tempted to set out the size of the cuts to re­cur­rent fund­ing, school by school.

“We’ve found that a ma­jor­ity of schools are get­ting much less re­cur­rent fund­ing per stu­dent in 2015 com­pared to 2013,” Ms Ham­mat said.

“While some schools have ex­pe­ri­enced wel­come in­creases, the state-wide av­er­age fund­ing per stu­dent is a cut of $505 com­pared with 2013.”

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Col­lier, Como, Curtin and Man­ning pri­mary schools all recorded a slight in­crease in fund­ing this year com­pared to 2013.

But Como Sec­ondary Col­lege, Kens- in­g­ton Pri­mary School, Kens­ing­ton Sec­ondary School and South Perth Pri­mary School re­ceived bud­get cuts this year com­pared to two years ago.

The re­port can be viewed at www.saveours­er­vices.com.au/school_re­port_sign_up

But WA Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Peter Col­lier said the fig­ures were mis­lead­ing.

“The 2013 data in­cludes what are now called tar­geted ini­tia­tives such as uni­ver­sal ac­cess, op­er­a­tional re­sponse al­lo­ca­tions and re­gional al­lo­ca­tions, while 2015 fig­ures don’t,” Mr Col­lier said.

“There are other fac­tors that make this com­par­i­son in­cred­i­bly mis­lead­ing. Tak­ing th­ese into ac­count equates to an ex­tra $748 per stu­dent in 2015.”

South Perth Pri­mary School is one of the school’s stud­ied in the re­port.

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