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Funding for public schools must come first
The State Government should be prioritising the construction of public schools, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said today, in response to the Berejiklian Government’s promise of an extra $0.5 billion for the Catholic and independent systems.
“We know that by 2031, our public school system will be accommodating an extra 168,000 students. All of that adds up to an extra 7200 classrooms required by the public system in NSW by 2031 on the State Government’s own predictions,” Mr Mulheron said.
Infrastructure NSW has identified that current funding will deliver only a quarter of the learning spaces needed to accommodate predicted public school enrolments.
Public schools get no funding for capital investment from the federal government while all private schools already have access to billions of dollars in capital grants from both the state and federal governments.
My School data reveals that in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available, capital expenditure in the Independent sector was 4.5 times greater per student than in public schools. In Catholic schools, capital spending was just over twice the rate per student of public schools.
“Along with the NSW Government, the Commonwealth should also be making a substantial commitment to the construction and expansion of NSW public schools,” Mr Mulheron said.
“This additional half a billion dollars to private schools comes just months after the NSW Government signed a funding agreement with the Commonwealth acknowledging that Catholic and independent schools are currently above their legislated funding entitlement.”
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