Richest schools get orchestra pits while Turnbull leaves public schools under-resourced

The Australian Education Union’s Federal Conference today condemned the inequitable funding policies of the Turnbull Government that will delivers billions extra to private schools while leaving public schools under-resourced.

Conference delegates in Melbourne unanimously agreed that the Turnbull Government’s $1.9 billion cut in recurrent funding for public schools should be reversed and a dedicated capital works funding program be established.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said today that front page revelations in today’s media about the hundreds of millions of dollars that overfunded private schools were using to build libraries that look like castles, ballet centres and orchestra pits illustrated how unequal school funding was.

“The Turnbull Government is pouring billions into private schools for capital works and not spending a cent on buildings in public schools,” said Ms Haythorpe.

“Funding should be spent where it is needed most and with public school enrolments rising fast, that is in the public sector.

NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said enrolments in NSW public schools are expected to increase by 23 per cent over the next 10-12 years.

“Despite the urgent need to invest in public school infrastructure to address burgeoning enrolment growth in public schools, and to deal with the existing massive maintenance backlog, the Federal Government has instead pursued a capital funding program that will accelerate the achievement gaps between the advantaged and the disadvantaged.

“By funding existing wealthy private schools the Turnbull Government is ignoring the capital funding needs of public schools.

“This year’s federal budget must provide significant and ongoing capital funding for public schools,” said Mr Mulheron.