The Greens say an interim report by the Productivity Commission into the National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) obscures the fact that persistent funding inequity is the main reason why the Agreement is failing to meet its goals.
It’s projected that, until the end of the decade, private schools will be funded over 100% of their Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), while public schools won’t even reach 91%. On average, public school students are missing out on $1800 in funding every year under the NSRA.
The SRS represents the minimum funding level required for students to achieve the minimum standard.
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on schools, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“The elephant in the room in the national debate on school and student performance is the huge funding gap that exists between the haves and have- nots in our education system.
“If you’re not talking about persistent school funding inequity then you’re not talking seriously about improving outcomes for our students.
“While funding falls outside the scope of the Productivity Commission’s report there can be no doubt from its conclusions that the deliberate underfunding of Australia’s public schools is undermining our children’s education and driving the teacher shortage crisis.
“Inequity in our education system will not be fixed by tinkering at the edges of the next National School Reform Agreement. As negotiations between the Federal and State Governments ramp up, we need to see a wholesale shift away from funding expensive private schools, and reinvestment in our public education system.
“The Productivity Commission is right to highlight the massive administrative workload faced by teachers. We need better conditions, better pay, and better career progression opportunities for public school teachers.
“If we gave less of our money to elite private schools so they can build extra boat sheds, and more to underfunded public schools, we can close the funding gap and lift standards across the board.”