The need for a fundamental overhaul of federal schools funding arrangements has been confirmed by new research that shows without it public schools face a real cut of over $300 million in three years’ time.
Released today, the report on the 2011/12 Budget says that while public school funding will reach a high point in the next financial year, it is then projected to decline significantly in real terms.
The cut is due to the projected loss of key investments in education, including the literacy and numeracy national partnership.
Produced by Sydney University Honorary Associate Professor of Education Dr Jim McMorrow, the report shows:
AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said the report highlighted what would happen if there was not a significant overhaul of federal funding arrangements after the conclusion of the current Gonski review of schools funding later this year.
“This report shows that, without change, public schools will go backwards financially,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
“The Labor Government is to be commended for the additional resources they have put into public schools but what is needed is a fundamental change in the way they are funded.
“Labor has the opportunity to finally get rid of the discredited and inequitable Howard Government funding system and replace it with one that better meets the needs of every child.
“There is currently great instability and uncertainty surrounding federal funding for public schools. Schools, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, are too reliant on funding through one-off programs.
“The Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership is a classic example. Schools are reporting that the extra resources delivered through that program are making a huge difference for students but it is due to end in the middle of next year.
An affiliate of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and Education International (EI)
“Private schools, by contrast, are less reliant on these programs and benefit from ever-increasing amounts of recurrent funding – indexed against the cost of government school education.
“It is clear the federal funding system is broken. What is required is a fundamental overhaul to ensure every child has access to high quality public education.
“We would also urge the Gillard Government to reconsider proposed programs such as teacher bonus pay and school bonus pay included in the Budget which, as the
McMorrow report warns, are being introduced without any credible supporting evidence of their benefit.
“This is no time to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on educational experiments.”
The AEU is calling for:
Note: A copy of the McMorrow report is available at: