Private schools awash with government money
By Angelo Gavrielatos
Senior Vice President
The Federation has claimed from the start that the State Government's review into the funding of private schools was a sham. The Government's decision to reject the final recommendations of the Grimshaw review after sitting on the report for nearly two years certainly vindicates the Federation's claim.
The Government originally announced its review of funding of private schools before the Federal election in 2001. This was designed to draw attention away from State Government funding and focus on the Federal Government's changes to schools funding to further benefit private schools at the expense of public schools.
The final report of the NSW Public Education Council stated:
"Under current policy settings, both State and Commonwealth Governments are contributing increased public funding to non-government schools with the combined effect of increasing the gap between the resources available in public schools and those in an increasing proportion of non-government schools. The point has now been reached where the NSW Government's 25% funding link for the no-government sector is compromising its principal responsibility, namely to provide public education of the highest standard."
The Federation calls on the State Government to implement Recommendation One of the NSW Public Education Council report which states:
"To strengthen public confidence in the future of public schooling, the Public Education Council recommends:
1.1 that the NSW government affirms its commitment to the principle set out in the NSW Education Act (1990) 'that the principal responsibility of the State in the education of children is the provision of public education' by:
� ensuring that all government policies and priorities in education and training are consistent with this principle;
� establishing a climate in which school and system leaders are encouraged to take a proactive role in advocating publicly the benefits, achievements and challenges of public education."
Of course, the Federal Government continues its extreme funding policies advantaging private schools at the expense of public schools. The 32 % of students enrolled at private schools will receive 73.7% of Federal Government recurrent funding.