The urgent need for fairer funding arrangements for public schools has been highlighted by new figures which show Catholic schools in the Banks electorate receiving more state and federal government funding for capital expenditure than government schools in the same electorate.
According to an Australian Education Union (AEU) analysis of the latest ACARA ‘My School’ data, Catholic schools in Banks received greater capital funding from state and federal governments than public schools in 2017. The combined state and federal government-funded capital expenditure per student in Catholic schools in Banks was $867 per student, more than double the $401 per student public schools received.
In 2017 Catholic schools in Banks spent over elecen times more on capital projects than public schools, while independent schools in Banks spent four times that of public schools.
Over the three years from 2015-2017, when it comes to capital expenditure, Catholic schools in Banks spent more than three times that of public schools and independent schools in Banks spent more than four times more than public schools.
In terms of the amount of federal and state government recurrent funding received, some Catholic secondary schools in Banks receive substantially more per student than lower or similarly socio-educational advantaged (ICSEA)public schools in the electorate. St Raphael’s Catholic Primary School(ICSEA score of 1135) received $10,893 per student, more than 11 individual government primary schools in Banks including $1,312 more per student than Picnic Point Public School(ICSEA 1106) which received $9,581 in government funds in 2017 and $939 more than Revesby South Public School(ICSEA 1033) which received $9,954 per student.
NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron said recently-released My School data shows that public schools in NSW were amongst the lowest-funded in the country.
“When Catholic schools in Banks are getting more government funding than government schools you know how unfair the system has become,” Mr Mulheron said.
“Despite growing enrolments in public schools in Banks, the Morrison Government has handed billions of dollars of extra funding to private schools while cutting $14 billion from public school funding.”
“The only way to start levelling the playing field is to restore the federal funding that public schools should have received this year and last year. Thankfully, Labor has made a commitment to do exactly that if it is elected to government in the federal election and will boost funding to public schools in Banks by additional $18 million in the first three years. This works out to over $480,000 for every school,” Mr Mulheron said.
An AEU analysis of the My School data also revealed:
· Public schools in Banks educate 76.7% of students but receive a lower share of Total Net Recurrent Income (75.4%)
· Total Net Recurrent Income per student in Banks is higher in Catholic schools ($13,078 per student) and significantly higher in independent schools ($21,969 per student) than in public schools ($12,596 per student).
· This means that there is a gap of $483 per student between public schools and Catholic schools in Banks and a gap of $9,373 per student between public schools and independent schools in Banks
· In percentage terms this gap means that Catholic schools in Banks receive 3.8% more Net Recurrent Income per student than public schools and independent schools in Banks receive 74.4% more income per student
· In 2017 both Catholic and independent schools in Banks had higher capital expenditure than public schools. Public schools only spent $416 per student on capital works, whilst Catholic schools in Banks spent over eleven times this – $5,148 per student and independent schools spent four times this – $1,924 per student on capital projects
· Catholic schools in Banks received greater capital funding from state and federal governments than public schools in 2017. The combined government-funded capital expenditure per student in Catholic schools was $867 per student, more than double the $401 per student public schools received.
· Over the three years from 2015-2017 capital expenditure has been significantly higher in both Catholic and independent schoolsin Banksthan it has in public schools. Public schools spent $2968 per student on capital works over three years, whilst Catholic schools in Banks spent $9764 (more than three times that of public schools) and independent schools in Banks spent $12,153 per student (More than four times more than public schools).
Mr Mulheron said the figures showed how important it was to restore the $14 billion that Prime Minister Scott Morrison had cut from public schools.
“Without that investment the resources gaps between public and private schools in Banks are only going to increase,” Mr Mulheron said.
“Public schools in Banks educate the vast majority of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and yet they are operating with thousands of dollars less per student than private schools.”
“These figures don’t even take into account the $4.6 billion Mr Morrison handed to private schools last year,” Mr Mulheron said.
“Public schools are also growing in Banks and yet the Commonwealth has stopped providing any funding for capital works.
“Because they get so much recurrent funding, Independent schools able to spend over ten times as much on buildings and facilities as public schools,” Mr Mulheron said.
“If this is the Morrison Government’s idea of a fair go for public schools, then the Morrison Government needs to go.”