IEUA statement on school funding

Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch

IEUA statement on school funding

The IEUA welcomes today’s investigative report by the ABC into school funding.

The IEUA has urged greater transparency and accountability in school funding arrangements for over three decades.

Unfortunately, federal and state governments, along with some system employers, have been complicit in ensuring that the public, the workers and their Union, and families are not provided with reasonable transparency about school funding.

The IEUA considers that the new funding arrangements are more opaque than previous arrangements. It is even more difficult to know what the funding entitlements, federal and state, are for any individual school this year or in coming years than it was two decades ago.

The report highlights concerns that IEUA members have expressed for many years, including the adequacy of and access to loadings such as the Students with Disability (SWD) loading. Lack of transparency from government and employers means that there is no way of determining what reasonable level of resources should be expected at the local level.

IEUA members are struggling in some of the most disadvantaged schools to meet the learning needs of their students. Those students, their families and their teachers deserve a better deal.

The IEUA acknowledges that the new funding arrangements, using the Direct Measure of Income, in place of the SES model, will likely change the measures for a number of schools and that the redistribution arrangements in some systems will not be as serious as the ABC analysis suggests.

The IEUA understands that the new arrangements are likely to show that the demographics of local schools are more nuanced than the gross SES measure, and that some ‘high SES’ local schools are serving significantly ‘lower capacity to contribute’ cohorts in those communities.

Added to this is the recognition that some systems have been moving to correct the re-distribution arrangements in recent years. As they should.

Nevertheless, the current school funding arrangements remain impenetrable.

The IEUA reiterates the need for much greater school funding transparency and the need to ensure that the workers and their Union are invited into and part of the dialogue, particularly in school systems, about school funding levels, arrangements and resourcing considerations.

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/Public Release.