With the Federal budget for 2017 that had been released tonight, it is interesting to go in a bit more detail with the school funding issue. This article I have read a couple of a couple of weeks ago and is a good illustration of how warped the current system became since the Howard years. During the Howard years the free flowing mining money covered this issue, with the first Gonski implementation, Gillard simply lacked number and political capital to properly implement it. I do also think Gillard’s Labor government also lacked political courage in hoping not to alienate potential voters. The proposed Coalition changes to the funding go someway to fix this issue. However given the preliminary information we have gotten, the changes likely not going far enough to properly address this issue.
Following are some extract from the AGE article ‘The inequity is worsening’: a tale of two schools and a school funding debate.
Here are two schools, from two sectors, that are two kilometres apart.
They serve the same diverse community in Cranbourne and enrol students from similar backgrounds. But according to the latest data, the state school Cranbourne Secondary College received $10,954 in state and federal funding per student while the Catholic school St Peter’s College Cranbourne received $12,765.
In the “Education State”, a student at an independent school with the average socioeconomic make-up received an average of $11,938 in government funding. This compared to $11,064 for a student at a similar Catholic school, and just $9547 for a student at a comparable state school.
One argument laid out by Independent school is that government’s capital income is not included in this number and add on top. Now ‘et’s work the number, there are 932,107 students enrolled in Victorian Primary and Secondary Schools. In the last three Victoria State budget as far as I can make out from the state government’s budget website, it had and planning to spend 2.5 Billion dollars on new and upgrading schools. Given the previous number, this comes down to about $895 per student per year.
St Peter’s College Cranbourne charge about $4,700 per year in 2017 from the information I gather on its website. So if my assumption is correct with the example mentioned in the above, Cranbourne Secondary College get a tad less than $12,000 per year and St Peter’s College Cranbourne get about $17,500 per year.
The funding question is a very complex and need detailed study and investigation on how best we spend and distribute the money to make the best use of our limited resource.
Note: I make a lot of assumptions and there likely be inaccuracy in how the numbers stack up.