Australian Greens Spokesperson for Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has reacted to the Catholic Schools NSW documents leaked to the ABC that confirm their practice of taking funding meant for disadvantaged schools to subsidise fees in wealthy areas.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Private school rorting of their disadvantaged students like this should be illegal. It’s an indictment on our education system that it’s not.
“This is galling confirmation of the dirty open secret of Australian school funding.
“Liberal and Labor governments have been running a protection racket for private schools for years.
“That this went on was well known, but the major parties have spent years avoiding putting in place transparency requirements that would have confirmed it.
“For too long, private schools have benefited from opaque reporting requirements that mask where public funding is going. Every last public dollar spent in the private system should be reported and justified at a school level.
“It’s clear the NSW Catholic Schools are more concerned with losing enrolments to public schools than they are about giving disadvantaged, First Nations and regional students the funding they are allocated.
“The ethics of this aren’t just between the Bishops and God. The Bishops were fully aware they were ripping off low-SES families to help the wealthy. It’s public money. They must apologise and be held accountable.
“This is the system that successive Labor and Liberal governments have lavished with billions in special deals while they starved hardworking public school teachers and students of basic funding.”