Previous funding ‘skewed’

New analysis of the most recent My School funding data shows how inequitable funding was before 2014, when Gonski needs-based funding was phased in.

The Gonski model is about additional resources targeted to where they are needed, which will slowly close the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

Analysis by the Australian Education Union (AEU) shows that between 2009 and 2014 government funding to private schools increased at twice the rate of public schools.

Combined state and federal government annual funding per student increased by:

  • 30.2 per cent for independent schools
  • 30.2 per cent for Catholic schools
  • 14.6 per cent for public schools (figures not adjusted for inflation).

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said: “In the years leading up to Gonski we were not funding schools on the basis of need. We had a flawed and inefficient funding system which was delivering the biggest gains to private schools.”

In 2014 — the first year of Gonski needs-based school funding — per student figures were:

  • $17,604 in independent schools
  • $12,998 in Catholic schools
  • $12,779 in public schools.

“The first amounts of Gonski funding coming into the system in 2014 have not been nearly enough to turn this around after years of skewed funding,” Ms Haythorpe said.

Just 6 per cent of Gonski funding was rolled out in 2014 and by this year schools have seen just 18 per cent of the dollars earmarked in the fully-funded six-year model. It will take until the end of the sixth year, 2019, for all schools to reach the minimum resource standard, which is why it is crucial for any federal government to fully fund the model.

Ms Haythorpe said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to cut Gonski funding after 2017 would fail students and further entrench inequity.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s plan would see gaps in resources between schools grow, and fail to address the inequities caused by a system which gave the biggest funding increases to advantaged schools.

“He wants to return to a system which ignores student need and leaves thousands of students without the support they need to succeed at school.

“His plan for our schools won’t fix the problem: it will cut funding and support to kids who need it.

“Disadvantaged schools don’t need cuts to Gonski. They need the $4.5 billion in investment Labor and the Greens are promising.”

Read more:

New report shows Gonski is long-term investment

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