11591 > 8336 > 6991

The public education lobby have been bleating for years and years about funding inequity – the argument being that ‘government’ gives more money to private schools than to public schools. True, the commonwealth gives more money to private schools than to public schools but the totality of funding from both State and Federal government has always favoured public schools.

Apparently the public education lobby (or, at least, part of it) has realised it can no longer keep up the lie that ‘government’ gives more to private schools than to public schools. Today the Australian has published the funding per student as calculated by lobby group Save our Schools. Well done to SOS, their honesty is refreshing.

The other important statistic is this:

About 90 per cent of government funding for public schools comes from state governments, while about 70 per cent of government funding for non-government schools comes from the commonwealth.

So when looking at education funding it is important to include both State and Federal funding (and not just federal funding as some do).

This, however, does leave them in a quandary – if total government funding to public education massively out-strips that to private education how do you then complain about inequity? Growth is funding is down.

“Despite their bigger challenges, government schools received the smallest increase in government funding since 2001-02,” he said.

Then there is this statemet:

Mr Cobbold said Catholic schools had previously lagged government schools in available funding, but the figures show the sector now had equal financial resources available for its students while independent schools still enjoyed much greater income.

“These new figures demonstrate the perversity of government funding policies over the past decade, which have favoured private schools,” he said.

“The biggest funding increases have gone to the wealthiest school sector, which has a large resource advantage entirely due to government funding.”

That statement seems wrong – you can only claim independent schools enjoy greater income if you include parental school fees in the analysis*, but then you cannot claim their resource advantage is “entirely due to government funding”.

* I have little patience for people who begrudge parents spending their own money on their own children – more of that should be encouraged.

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36 Responses to 11591 > 8336 > 6991

  1. boy on a bike says:

    Here is a presentation by someone (Howland?) from “NSW Education & Communities” to the Australian International Education Conference 2011 – dated 19 Oct 2011.

    http://www.aiec.idp.com/pdf/2011_Howland_Thu_1210_HD.pdf

    The first slide states:

    – $12.4 billion budget (NSW schools)
    – 740,415 students

    Divide one into the other and you get a figure of $16,747 per student.

    There used to be a “Fast Facts” sheet on the NSW Education website that used the same numbers. It appears to have been moved.

    $16,747 is the amount of cash flowing into the department per head. Where is all the money going?

  2. Rafe says:

    Sinc, re your waspish footnote, how many times do you have to be told that a dollar that passes through the hands of the Government is rendered sacred, or holy, or in some way better than a dollar spent by a humble citizen. I don’t actually know how that works, but there you are…

  3. Judith Sloan says:

    And I wonder whether this is the reason: . Between 2005 and 2010, enrolments in independent schools rose by 14 per cent, in Catholic schools by 6 per cent and in government schools by less than 2 per cent. Yes, it is per student funding and the funding reflects the growth of the different sectors.

  4. boy on a bike says:

    Did my comment get eaten?

    Here is a presentation by someone (Howland?) from “NSW Education & Communities” to the Australian International Education Conference 2011 – dated 19 Oct 2011.

    http://www.aiec.idp.com/pdf/2011_Howland_Thu_1210_HD.pdf

    The first slide states:

    – $12.4 billion budget (NSW schools)
    – 740,415 students

    Divide one into the other and you get a figure of $16,747 per student.

    If anything SOS are severely under-estimating how much cash is flowing to the state system. What they don’t get is that a big chunk of the $16,747 is swallowed up by God knows what.

  5. Jim Rose says:

    to get a teaching job in a catholic school these days, I am told that 6 or more months of prior voluntary community service is expected as a screening device for personal values and commitment!

    would be applicants have even been know to start going to mass to boost their CV.

    catholic schools have come a long way since financial boost in the whitlam days.

  6. No Worries says:

    Jim,
    A friend of mine taught in the Catholic system for his whole career, and retired two years ago. He’s still on call for substitute teaching, and he finds himself and several other similarly retired teachers at school up to four days of the school week. I guess they want quality, and not just anyone.

  7. hammygar says:

    Jim Rose actually does know where the shift key is, given his use of it in typing I and CV. Or maybe he hits the caps lock key twice.

  8. Peter Patton says:

    These figures aren’t terribly helpful either, as they do not distinguish between primary school and high school. As the big switch away from government to non-government schools occurs in high school, the data published here underestimate the real over-funding of government schools. The split between infants/primary and high school funding is significant, and easy to find. If it’s not within one of the links above, I’ll hunt it down later in the morning.

  9. Peter Patton says:

    The reason the growth is funding is greater in the non-government sector is that nearly all that growth took place in high school, which the government – State and Federal – funds more generously (on a per student basis) than they fund primary and infants.

  10. Winston Smith says:

    Tony Abbott could settle this by bringing in the voucher system for edumacation.
    It would at least shut up the anti private school lobby.
    On second thoughts, I doubt anything would shut them up.

  11. Peter Patton says:

    And no doubt even these figures are lies. I have never read anything published by the AEU and government school lobby, which is not a brazen lie.

  12. Jasbo says:

    The real question here is: What has improved in educational outcomes for funding-per-student growth of between 48 and 82% over 7 years?

    It is well documented [no link] that the three areas with the worst productivity performance in modern economies are the health, education and welfare sectors. No surprise that government is either funder, regulator or provider (or all three) for them all.

    That lack of performance is the real scandal. Though it is nice to see something approaching an honest representation from a public school lobbying body.

  13. Rafe says:

    It would help if they lobbied the government to improve the quality of public education. And not by merely spending more money.

  14. MACK1 says:

    Recent local and intenational political events show clearly that governments are struggling to adequately regulate financial and other aspects of modern complex societies. The only rational conclusion is that they should completely cease all service delivery and devote their entire intellect and energy to regulation. (And make school fees tax-deductible.)

  15. John Comnenus says:

    Unfortunately the AEU is primarily concerned about it’s members wages. It needs more money in the public education system to achieve salary parity with Catholic and Independent schools. This is despite a large number of public schools getting more income per student than Catholic schools. The reason for this is simple – the government and bureaucracy are worse at everything they do than the private sector. They cost more, deliver less and pay their staff less.

    Unfortunately the AEU and public education lobby argue about who owns the assets rarely worrying about educational outcomes. Usually any argument from the AEU about outcomes always needs higher pay for it’s members. A sensible education debate would revolve firstly around outcomes and secondly about access to education. Ownership would be the last point to debate.

  16. No Worries says:

    Any shred of credibility that the AEU ever had has been destroyed by the continual lies of this spiv over several years. For years he has pushed the line of underfunding of public schools, using solely the federal funding data.

  17. Sleetmute says:

    The other factor this analysis doesn’t consider is the SES funding model. The ‘elite’ private schools the unions are so fixated upon typically get much less per student than the average for private schools. A friend of mine who’s a head of department at the Catholic Mazenod College in Mulgrave (not a rich area) said government funding was about $6k per student compared with less than $2k per student at Camberwell Grammar where he used to teach.

  18. Sleetmute says:

    I should have said that Mazenod is a ‘private’ not a ‘Catholic’ school for the purposes of funding – it’s not your average Catholic school.

  19. John Comnenus says:

    As a taxpayer I help to pay for 100% of public education, about 75% of catholic education and about 50% of independent education (my very rough guesstimates of %). I also pay an additional sizeable amount after tax for my 3 children to go to Catholic schools so they actually learn how to read, write and do mathematics.

    I am not confident my children will learn these skills to a reasonable level in the free public school system. The old adage applies to education – if it’s too good to be true (free comprehensive education) then it probably is. The AEU goes out of it’s way to prove the wisdom of this saying.

    I don’t complain about funding AEU members who deliver crap outcomes to someone else’s children. The AEU should stop complaining that some of my taxes actually go to pay for my own children’s education.

  20. boy on a bike says:

    This document from the NSW DET quotes much higher costs per student for the state system:

    https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/detresources/about-us/statistics-and-research/key-statistics-and-reports/childcosts.pdf

  21. duncan says:

    If you’d like to scare yourself more in relation to the AEU. go have a gander at their Gender Equity policy.

  22. JohnA says:

    Rafe, you said:

    “It would help if they lobbied the government to improve the quality of public education. And not by merely spending more money.”

    But that would be futile, surely? Governments are paper factories – all they ever produce is legislation, regulation and monopoly money.

  23. . says:

    Err, thanks Duncan…YUCK!

  24. Peter Patton says:

    I know that at least in NSW, spending per government high school student is $16,000.

  25. Peter Patton says:

    And when it comes to Aboriginal students, the spend is up to $30,000 per student.

  26. boy on a bike says:

    Peter

    If you take those two sheets I linked to and crunch the numbers, the costs for NSW state schools per student are:

    Primary – $15,700
    Secondary – $19,684

    Give or take a few hundred bucks.

  27. twostix says:

    If you’d like to scare yourself more in relation to the AEU. go have a gander at their Gender Equity policy.

    The AEU hates men:

    Dominant, stereotypical constructions of masculinity can lead to boys’ and men’s estrangement from women, children, other men and their communities.

    The AEU wants to turn your boys into girls:

    The AEU encourages and is supportive of the development and implementation of strategies that support the breaking down of the dominant, stereotypical construction of the male.

    I’ve long joked that the public education system wants to turn boys into Perfect Little Girls.

    Apparently it’s not shy of voicing this fact.

  28. Jarrah says:

    “Unfortunately the AEU is primarily concerned about its members wages.”

    This cannot be said enough. People take it for granted that all other unions exist for this function only, but somehow when it comes to education, teachers’ unions are supposed to be independent groups that only have the interests of children in mind.

    As a sidenote, when the NTEU was running a campaign about wages at uni, they were handing out leaflets explaining their position. I have never seen so many spelling and grammar mistakes on one sheet of paper before or since.

  29. Gab says:

    The AEU formulating the way to Stepford Husbands.

  30. twostix says:

    The AEU formulating the way to Stepford Husbands.

    What I want to know is how exactly do they propose to “breakdown the dominant, stereotypical construction of the male”?

    If I raise my sons to be “stereotypical constructions of men” – which I along with pretty much everyone else more or less do, am I being told that if they attend public school AEU teachers will then attempt to “breakdown” my sons and reform them as they see fit?

    Who do they think they are?

  31. Rob says:

    “If I raise my sons to be “stereotypical constructions of men” – which I along with pretty much everyone else more or less do, am I being told that if they attend public school AEU teachers will then attempt to “breakdown” my sons and reform them as they see fit?

    Who do they think they are?”

    Your Marxist feminists overlords.

  32. Peter Patton says:

    boab

    Thanks for that update. My figures are a few years old, and no doubt I am not fully aware of all the little accounting tricks.

    Jarrah

    The thing is, the AEU’s bullshit is overwhelmingly about stuff, other than their wages; which are already insanely high, especially for their skill level.

  33. Peter Patton says:

    twostix

    The AEU encourages and is supportive of the development and implementation of strategies that support the breaking down of the dominant, stereotypical construction of the male.

    Voila! The reason for the collapse of the government comprehensive school system!

  34. Rafe says:

    Britain has shown where you end up with the public service unions driving the car. A few years ago it was asserted that they had reached the point where there were more people “supporting” teachers and “supporting” doctors and nurses than were actually teaching in classrooms and delivering hands-on health services in the public health system.

    You have to understand the number of people who have to be involved in drafting, circulating, advising on and implementing things like the Gender Equity Policy.

  35. Winston Smith says:

    Rafe, I’m pretty sure that the NSWHealth model does precisely that – more ‘support’ than ‘function’

  36. Peter Patton says:

    There is a huge number of people involved in ‘regulatory’ roles in places like NSWHealth, which hopefully O’Farrell will excise toot sweet.

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