New Productivity Commission numbers show public schools underfunded

1 February 2018

The Australian Education Union says the annual Report on Government Services shows school funding must be allocated to address educational inequality. Productivity Commission data released today has government funding for private schools growing at a 60 percent higher rate than funding for public schools.

“Today’s report on Government spending shows the first four years of needs-based funding was working. Under the previous Labor Government funding inequity was starting to improve,” said Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the Australian

Education Union.

“Now we are set to revert back to the long-term trend which sees public schools chronically underfunded.”

Between 2006-07 and 2015-16 government funding to public schools increased at an average rate of 1.5 percent per year. In the same period, government spending on private schools increased 2.4 percent.*

“The first four years of needs-based funding was starting to lift results. Needs-based funding delivered between 2013 and 2016 was not enough overcome a long-term trend that sees private school funding growing at a much higher rate than public school funding.

“Before Turnbull’s school funding cuts, we were on the right path to addressing funding inequity. The full six years of the previous needs-based funding model would have seen 80 per cent of extra funding directed to public schools.

“The Turnbull Government has cut billions from schools. It will now only deliver 20 percent of the funding public schools need to reach the minimum resource standard, while delivering 80 percent to private schools,” said Ms Haythorpe.

Media Contact: Rosina Rayns 0401 991 792

* [figure 4.7 and 4.8. p4.17]