Media release: Government-fuelled largesse – it’s obscene

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos says revelations in the Sydney Morning Herald today of the “billion dollar private school building boom” further expose the defenceless funding priorities of state and federal governments.

“Both the State and Federal Government continue to pour money in to elite and over-funded private schools while many of our public school students are forced to sit in demountable classrooms.

“This is happening at the same time the number of demountable classrooms in NSW public schools is set to increase by 41 per cent to more than 6500. This is simply not acceptable.

“While public school enrolments continue to grow faster than any other sector, so too does the state and federal government’s commitment to the dance studios, swimming pools and capital portfolios of private schools.

“The NSW Government estimated in 2017 than an additional 7200 permanent classrooms would be needed in the next 15 years. With around 40,000 permanent classrooms now, that represents an 18 per cent increase.

“2017 MySchool data showed capital expenditure in Independent schools was five times greater per student than in public schools. In Catholic schools the spending was two and a half times higher. Today’s news paints the picture of the unbridled greed of these schools and systems,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“An election promise of the NSW government has handed over an extra $500 million in capital funding to the state’s private schools. Meanwhile, Scott Morrison and his government has handed private schools $1.8 billion dollars in capital funding over the next decade. Public schools receive nothing.

“All of this is on top of special deals struck by the Federal government that will ensure many of the private schools and systems in this country continue to be funded above their entitlements.

“Both governments should be prioritising the capital and recurrent funding needs of our public schools rather than entrenching privilege and obscene largesse we see on display today.”

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