The Turnbull Government’s new school funding model is illogical and unfair, producing “some bizarre conclusions”, according to Catholic Schools NSW chief Dallas McInerney. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
Mr McInerney delivered a speech on "Catholic Schools – the education option Australia can’t do without" at the Sydney Institute on Wednesday.
In his speech, Mr McInerney highlighted the flaws in the government’s methodology which ranks schools according to socio-economic status (SES), based on where students live, and parents' household income and education level. The higher its SES score the less government funding a school receives.
Mr McInerney said this approach leads to unfair outcomes such as giving more government funding to the prestigious King’s School in Parramatta, while giving less to low-fee Catholic primary schools.
According to the government’s ranking system The King’s School has an SES score of 116 and therefore receives base funding of $5400 per primary school student, while charging parents fees of $28,700.
Meanwhile, St Joseph’s Primary School in Oatley, with an SES score of 117, attracts base funding of $5115 per student, while charging parents $1800 in fees.
“All up, there are 63 low-fee, suburban and regional Catholic schools in NSW and ACT that have been given a higher SES score than The King’s School,” Mr McInerney said.
“The government’s policy deems that parents in these schools can afford to pay the difference that’s needed to bring school resourcing up to a base target of almost $11,000 per year, per student for all primary schools.”
In an interview with The Catholic Weekly, Mr McInerney stressed the danger the funding model poses to the Catholic tradition of providing affordable education.
“There are elements of the deal which present significant challenges to the traditions of Catholic schools. Our ability to have affordable, low-fee Catholic schools spread right throughout Australia – there are some mechanics of the funding formula which when applied to our sector really challenge our ability to do just that.”
“Education funding is illogical,” says head of Catholic Schools NSW (The Catholic Weekly)