19 May 2017

Funding boost for Corangamite and Corio Catholic schools

I welcome the boost in funding for all schools across the Corangamite and Corio electorates under the Turnbull Governments new ‘needs based’ funding plan for schools. This includes a very significant funding boost for catholic schools.

Our government continues to support parental choice in education by funding both government and non-government schools.

Under our funding model in 2018, a student in Corangamite will receive on average:

  • $2,564 in a government school, growing to $4,045 in 2027
  • $7,778 in an Independent school, growing to $11,468 in 2027
  • $9,733 in a Catholic school, growing to $13,137 in 2027

In 2018, a student in Corio will receive on average:

  • $2,820 in a government school, growing to $4,449 in 2027
  • $7,397 in an Independent school, growing to $10,675 in 2027
  • $9,400 in a Catholic school, growing to $12,687 in 2027

(Editor’s note: Under the Australian Constitution, education and schools are the responsibility of State and Territory governments. State governments are responsible for around 83% of school funding for public schools and the Commonwealth currently provides the remaining 17% or so of funding to public schools.)

These funding figures clearly show our enduring support for the decisions that parents make when choosing the best learning environment for their children.

Over the next four years (2018-21), annual average per student funding to the Catholic school sector across Victoria will grow by 3.5 per cent. These increases are above both inflation and the projected wage price index and will begin to transition each state Catholic sector to an equal footing regarding needs-based funding.

Compared to the 2016 Budget, this means an additional $184 million over 4 years (2018-2021) and an additional $2.8 billion over 10 years (2018-2027).

The Catholic sector will also benefit from the expanded capital investment program for the non-government sector which will grow by $300 million over ten years, bringing total funding to $1.9 billion over this period – the Catholic sector presently receives over 60 per cent of current capital funding.

We are moving to a fairer, needs-based funding model that reflects the true needs of Australian students, including those attending Catholic schools.

Under Labor’s 27 different special deals, the practice of treating all schools in a Catholic system in a state as if they have the same level of socio-economic need, means that poorer Catholic schools in that state have been allocated less money through the Commonwealth funding model than they are entitled to. Affluent Catholic schools have been allocated more money than their need would indicate they require. This is neither needs-based nor fair.

Suggestions that small parish schools will be disadvantaged or that fees must dramatically increase are wrong.

Catholic systems, like state and territory governments, will continue to be able to redistribute Commonwealth funding to their individual schools as they see fit.

To increase transparency of Commonwealth public funding to all schools and to ensure that parents understand the Commonwealth’s funding allocation to their child’s school, the Government has released a school funding estimator.

The estimator is now available online https://www.education.gov.au/quality-schools

18 May 2017