Government unveils funding program
The Federal Government has unveiled its new school education funding program, saying it will ensure the ‘proper resourcing’ of the sector for generations to come.
The scheme will see an extra $14.5 billion in public investment in schools over the coming six years, $9.4 billion of which will come from the Commonwealth.
In releasing the National Plan for School Improvement, Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised fairer school funding based on the individual needs of students.
Under the new scheme, Ms Gillard promised two dollars of commonwealth spending for every state or territory dollar spent on schools.
The new model will see funding per student rise to $9,271 for primary school students, and $12,193 for secondary school students.
Loadings will also be provided for students from low SES backgrounds, indigenous students, students with disability, students with limited English proficiency, small schools, and school location.
Over the next six years this additional funding will include:
- $5 billion for NSW – bringing total public investment in NSW schools to $87 billion (or 29% of the national public investment in schools) over 2014-19
- $4 billion for VIC – bringing total public investment in VIC schools to $68 billion (or 23%) over 2014-19
- $3.8 billion for QLD – bringing total public investment in QLD schools to $65 billion (or 22%) over 2014-19
- $300 million for WA – bringing total public investment in WA schools to $38 billion (or 13%) over 2014-19
- $600 million for SA – bringing total public investment in SA schools to $21 billion (or 7%) over 2014-19
- $400 million for TAS – bringing total public investment in TAS schools to $7 billion (or 2%) over 2014-19
- $100 million for ACT – bringing total public investment in ACT schools to $5 billion (or 2%) over 2014-19
- $300 million for NT– bringing total public investment in NT schools to $5 billion (or 2%) over 2014-19
The new funding has drawn immediate criticism from the tertiary education sector, with Universities Australia claiming that the new scheme will see $2.3 billion stripped from the system over the next four years.
The cuts come on top of the $1billion stripped out of the system less than 6 months ago through the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook process." Universities Australia Chair Glyn Davis said.
"The magnitude of the cuts made to the sector over the past 6 months will challenge the ability of universities to continue to meet the high standards of educational quality expected of them. These cuts also come at a time when Australia already sits a disturbingly 25th out of 29 advanced economies for public investment in universities - as a percentage of GDP.