Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm has welcomed the Government’s decision to fund non-government schools based on the income of parents, rather than the average wealth of the parents’ neighbours.
“For several years I have been outlining to education ministers how funding for private schools can and should be based on the income of parents rather than the average wealth of the parents’ neighbours. I have also outlined how taxpayer privacy can be maintained.
“I am delighted that the Government has finally worked it out.
“Income-based funding improves the degree to which school funding is needs-based. The schools educating poor kids will get more than schools educating rich kids.
“The fact that the additional funding favours non-government schools over government schools also enhances needs-based funding.
“Currently a non-government school whose students are poorer and more disadvantaged than a government school receives only 80 per cent of the funding of the government school. Any move that whittles away at this baseless bias against non-government schools is great.
“The Government should go further and completely eliminate this rule. A non‑government school whose students are poorer and more disadvantaged than a government school should never receive less taxpayer-funding just because it is a non-government school.
“The Government should also start funding government schools based on the income of parents, and rich parents who send their children to government schools need to be charged meaningful school fees.
“This is fair, and would achieve more education bang for the taxpayer buck.
“The Government is moving towards the Liberal Democrats’ policy of schooling vouchers that are sector-blind, means‑tested and needs-based. It should go all the way.”