‘Elite’ schools? The education funding debate is derailed by such stereotypes


For households who select to ship their youngsters to a non-government faculty, schooling isn’t free. Non-government faculty mother and father are means-tested to evaluate how a lot they will afford to contribute to their youngsters’s education, by means of what’s referred to as the Capability to Contribute. This quantity is then deducted from the bottom stage of funding all college students are entitled to, which is named the Education Useful resource Commonplace.


The father or mother contribution varies considerably from faculty to highschool. On common, Catholic faculty households are anticipated to contribute about 23 per cent of the useful resource commonplace by means of faculty charges.

In greenback figures, authorities colleges acquired, on common, $20,940 in state and federal authorities funding per pupil in 2020-21. Non-government colleges obtained $12,442 per pupil.

Catholic faculty mother and father and communities additionally contribute about 90 per cent of the prices required to help faculty buildings and different capital works, whereas capital works for public colleges are absolutely funded.

College funding is extremely advanced and is regulated below federal laws and nationwide agreements between the federal authorities and states and territories. Any arbitrary selections outdoors of those frameworks, as within the case of the Victorian payroll tax, not solely set a precedent for different states and territories, but in addition have the potential to considerably have an effect on a fastidiously calculated and regarded needs-based funding formulation.


A part of that affect is the monetary burden on households who already contribute considerably to their youngster’s education and may have to choose up the price of ill-conceived coverage selections. This may very well be the unintended affect of the Victorian authorities’s determination, which creates an extra burden on households experiencing the very best rates of interest in additional than a decade and growing pressures on the price of dwelling.

The argument that the Victorian authorities makes, that that is only a handful of “high-fee” colleges, is regarding. As soon as concessions are eliminated for some colleges, what’s to cease the edge altering once more to stability the funds and seize extra non-government colleges sooner or later?

Faculties can’t be handled like companies. We noticed this with the unrefined JobKeeper measure. I argued strongly towards JobKeeper for colleges through the pandemic. A special method would have higher recognised the extra monetary burden that our college communities – significantly these in Victoria – needed to bear with decreased revenue from faculty charges because of monetary hardship, and the elevated price of security measures and expertise. Faculties that didn’t entry JobKeeper may now be pressured to choose up the tab once more.

Coverage selections affecting faculty funding can’t be made in a vacuum. After all, like every nationwide coverage, the varsity funding mannequin requires ongoing refinement, and a overview of the mannequin can be performed by the federal government within the subsequent few years. Nevertheless, it’s unhelpful and divisive to pit faculty sectors towards one another for what might in the end be a restricted return to the funds. It continues to inflame the varsity funding wars after we needs to be getting on with the job of bettering education.

Jacinta Collins is the manager director of the Nationwide Catholic Schooling Fee.

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