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.