Drought package bypasses government schools

Public schools have again been neglected by the Morrison Government — this time in its drought package.

The Coalition announced $10 million for non-government schools “to support schools facing financial hardship as a result of ongoing drought conditions, including fee concessions for boarding schools”.

Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe recently told Guardian Australia the funding was further evidence the Morrison Government only considers the needs of non-government schools.

“We have thousands of government schools — more than 80 per cent of students in rural and remote areas are in public schools and they are deeply impacted by the drought,” Ms Haythorpe said.

Public schools are also excluded from accessing the Federal Government’s Choice and Affordability Fund, which will deliver a further $1.2 billion to non-government schools over 10 years to 2020.

Largesse to the private schools sector continues in a climate of falling enrolments in Catholic schools. Total growth in combined commonwealth and state/territory government recurrent funding from 2009-2017 has been 27.3 per cent per public school student, compared with 49.1 per cent per Catholic school student.

“Under the Morrison Government 99 per cent of public schools won’t reach the minimum funding benchmark — the Schooling Resource Standard — and will miss out on the resources they need for smaller class sizes, more one-on-one teaching and more support for students with disability,” Ms Haythorpe states in a media release (11 November).