Overfunding of private schools: report

Wednesday, 06 July, 2022

Overfunding of private schools: report

The NSW Government is overfunding private schools in the state by almost $850 million, according to a NSW Teachers Federation report.

According to the union, public schools are also being underfunded by $2 billion every year.

The NSW Government Public Funding of Private Schools in NSW report, authored by senior economist Adam Rorris, also found that the government spent more than $30 million in extra funding on 40 elite private schools, which were identified as some of the most expensive and well-resourced schools in the country.

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the report showed the profound inequity of the NSW Government’s school funding arrangements.

“The NSW Government is overfunding private schools by $850 million over five years, while underfunding public schools every single year,” he said.

“In 2021, two-thirds of independent schools were overfunded by almost $100 million. Some of the richest schools in the nation are getting between $1 million and $2.5 million more per year than their government-funding entitlement. Overfunding these schools just means bigger surpluses and bigger swimming pools.

“How is it that Premier Dominic Perrottet can afford to give hundreds of millions a year to private schools that don’t need it, but he can’t find the money to properly fund public schools?

“Right now, Mr Perrottet’s plan is to keep overfunding private schools to 2029 while indefinitely underfunding public schools, which educate two-thirds of students in this state.

“This funding inequity is making it harder to ensure every child gets the education they need. There shouldn’t be one rule for private schools and one rule for everybody else. The most overfunded schools are the ones who need the money the least.

“A decade ago, governments agreed that there needed to be a minimum resource standard that all schools were funded to in order to meet the needs of their students and yet we still have this profound inequity.

“If NSW public schools were funded to the resource standard agreed by governments, there would be an additional $2 billion invested in them every year.

“That investment would be life-changing for children in public schools.”

Gavrielatos said a new Commonwealth/state funding agreement, due to be negotiated next year, must ensure public schools are funded to the resource standard as a matter of urgency and end the overfunding of private schools.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Maksym Yemelyanov

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