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Schools not ‘out of the woods’ on medium to long term funding

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Schools not ‘out of the woods’ on medium to long term funding

The peak body representing Catholic school parents in NSW and the ACT says the one-year funding boost announced in tonight’s Federal Budget does little to allay fears about the medium and long term funding for all Australian schools.

The Federal Budget includes a 5.4 percent per student funding increase for Catholic and non-government schools and a 9.55 percent per student increase for Government schools in 2015-2016.

While describing the one-year funding increase as a positive move, Executive Director of the Council of Catholic School Parents (CCSP) NSW/ACT, Linda McNeil says schools are clearly ‘not out of the woods’ when it comes to funding beyond 2017.

“While we are happy that the Federal Government’s funding commitment will meet the real costs of education for all Australian schools in 2015-2016, we’re still very concerned about what happens beyond 2017,” she said.

“The budget has done nothing to dispel our fear that after 2017 the Federal Government will use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as the basis for the indexation of school funding.

“While CPI has averaged less than 3% over the past decade, the real increase in school costs is around 5.5%.

“There’s no doubt in our mind that linking school funding to the CPI will only result in significant funding losses for all schools, which will mean cuts to staffing and resources.

“The impact of such losses would be significant for the Catholic sector where families may be forced to fill the funding gap.

“The education of all Australian children, regardless of which school they attend, is far too important to be indexed against CPI. We urge the Federal Government to be upfront about its plans for school funding beyond 2017 for the benefit of all Australian school children.”

The Federal Government has also announced a $5 million initiative to raise awareness of the positive benefits of parent engagement in education.

“Parent engagement is one of the Federal Government’s four pillars of a quality education and we welcome any moves to increase parent’s involvement and engagement in their child’s education journey,” she said.

13th May 2015

Authorised by Linda McNeil, Acting Executive Director, Council of Catholic School Parents NSW.
Contact: 0410 512 070

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