Christian schools have joined the call for State and Territory Government to properly fund government school systems.
‘Political buck passing, ideologically driven advocacy and media reporting focussing on only one part of school funding arrangements have let State and Territory governments off the hook for too long’, said Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy for Christian Schools Australia.
‘The McKell Institute Report is the latest evidence of the lack of commitment to properly supporting their own school systems, the schools they own and run, by State and Territory governments.’
‘Media reporting has often allowed states and territories to get away with underfunding their schools by myopically focussing solely on Commonwealth funding to non-government schools – avoiding scrutiny being placed on the whole funding picture.’
‘Some public school advocates have also sought to deny fair funding to non-government schools rather than addressing the chronic under investment by these governments’, he said.
The McKell Institute Report, Setting the Standard: Improving Educational Outcomes in Australia, highlights the underfunding by almost all State and Territory Government, the gaps in funding ranging from 0 to 21 percentage points in 2023, based on their calculations.
‘The Gonski funding reforms were revolutionary’, Mr Spencer said, ‘creating the basis for a student focused, sector blind, needs based funding model’.
‘Christian schools are being funded based on the needs of their student communities, discounted by a “capacity to contribute” determined by the income of their families’, he said.
‘All students across the nation deserve fair funding, it is well overdue for State and Territory Governments to lift their investment in education and ensure that this is the case’.