Taxpayers are pouring an extra $747 million each year into the coffers of the country’s elite private schools under the Government’s own test of need, ABC News reports.
That is the conclusion of a report by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria that analyses a complex array of published data to estimate school wealth.
The report titled “The need to rethink need: How the Gonski Review got it wrong on funding non-government schools”, challenges what it says are “dubious” measurements of school need.
“There are almost 200 non-government schools that raise all of the funding their students are estimated to need from private sources — mostly school fees,” the report said.
“Even though these schools already raise enough private income to reach their resource standard, the Australian Government nevertheless grants them almost $750 million each year.”
The CECV will today publish a list of 54 schools nationwide that charge fees it estimates are equivalent to the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), which determines the amount of funding every child needs to receive an education.
The report acknowledges there are 10 Catholic schools whose private income exceeds their SRS.
Stephen Elder, the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne has been spearheading a campaign against the Federal Government’s school funding changes.
The changes announced last year ended what the Federal Education Minister Mr Birmingham said were “special deals” that gave hundreds of millions of dollars to state-based Catholic education commissions.
Mr Elder said that this latest report should prompt the Schools Resourcing Board to ask hard questions.
“This just isn’t about Catholic and Independents, this is about the Government’s funding model that gives an entitlement to schools that they don’t deserve because they meet the resourcing standard through their own fee income,” Mr Elder said.
David Gonski on Life and Leadership (University of New South Wales)