Private schools' funding increase double that of public

PRIVATE schools across Australia got double the funding increase public schools got between 2009 and 2012, an analysis of MySchool data by the education union has found.

The analysis by the Australian Education Union showed state and federal funding for public school students rose 10.9% over the period.

But this contrasted with the total funding provided to Catholic school students, rising 19.8% over three years, and "independent schools", up 20% between 2009 and 2012.

The data, union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said, "proved the case for school funding reform"; showing governments gave private schools a "far greater increase" for private than public schools.

Mr Gavrielatos warned the widening resources gaps between the private and public school sectors risking "students failing to reach their potential".

"Increasing funding to schools which already charge fees and have their own resources simply reduced equity in the system (between 2009 and 2012)," he said.

"We know that public schools are educating a disproportionate number of students from low-income households, students with disability, indigenous students, yet are expected to do this with a falling share of resources."

Mr Gavrielatos said the figures lent more support to the need for enacting the Gonski report recommendations, despite the Abbott Government already working to change Labor's promised reforms.

"By only agreeing to fund the first four years of Gonski, Tony Abbott has only committed to delivering one-third of funding needed for schools to meet the minimum resource standard, this will not be enough to give all students the chance to reach their full potential," he said.

"If we don't deliver the full six years of Gonski funding then up to 20% of schools may not meet the minimum resource standard."

Labor's education spokeswoman Kate Ellis said those states which did sign up to the Gonski reforms, not including Queensland, should be demanding the government fund the final two years.

"Liberal premiers either need to step up the pressure on Tony Abbott, or admit they are going to follow his lead and allow the Gonski agreements to be trashed," she said.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has previously said a review of the school funding model would report to government later this year, with expectations it would start anew.

That review will likely shape the nature of school funding from the Commonwealth for each year after 2014.


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