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Schools Funding – The Facts in Cook

In this year’s Budget I announced that the Coalition Government would increase funding for local schools in the Cook Electorate by $185 million over the next ten years, including an extra $3.1 million next year.

Funding for our local public schools from the Commonwealth will increase by 60% over the next ten years, including a 5.1% increase next year.

Funding for Non-Government schools will increase by 43% over the next ten years and 3.8% next year. In particular, the per student funding for Catholic Schools in Cook will increase on average from $6,967 in 2017, to $7,234 in 2018 and to approximately $9,968 over the next ten years.

If you click on this link you will find an information sheet showing the level of funding from the Commonwealth Government for each school in the Cook electorate as well as other schools outside the electorate where many of our children are enrolled.

Please note differences in funding levels are based on the assessed needs of the students at the school, with higher loadings for disadvantaged and special needs students.

As you can see all schools – public, independent and Catholic – are receiving significantly more resources than they are receiving now from the Commonwealth Government. 

No school in the electorate of Cook will have reduced funding next year or over the next decade.

This $185 million increase in funding for our local schools in Cook is part of a new $18.6 billion

Quality Schools initiative I announced in the Budget to introduce genuine needs-based school funding, based on the Gonski recommended Schooling Resource Standard.

Funding for students under our Quality Schools reforms will be distributed by a fair, needs-based and transparent model, tied to school reforms which are proven to boost student results.

This model means that students with the same need within the same sector attract the same support from the Federal Government regardless of which state they live in. This is fair.

Funding our schools is a shared responsibility.

Under our new Quality Schools programmes, the Coalition Government will meet its share of the Gonski recommended Schooling Resource Standard for government and non-government schools so that by 2027 funding will equal:

  • 20 per cent of the standard for government schools – up from 17.0 per cent this year
  • 80 per cent of the standard for non-government schools – up from 77 per cent this year.

Quality Schools reform will also hold states and territories to account for meeting their share of the standard and maintain their real per student funding levels or face a reduction in Commonwealth Government funding.

The way schools have been funded in Australia has also historically been very complex.

For public schools and systemic or Catholic non-government schools, the Commonwealth Government provides funding as a block. This means the amount intended for each school from the Commonwealth is calculated and sent to the State Government or State Catholic Education Office. They then decide how much is then provided to each school.

This will sometimes mean that funding for one school is redirected to another, based on the decision of the State Government or, in the case of most of the non-government schools in the Shire and St George area, by the Catholic Education Commission of NSW.

There can be good reasons why the State Governments or the Catholic Education Commission in each state redirects this funding, but they are matters for those agencies to explain to parents and schools.

The Commonwealth Government has no control over those funding decisions.

This new package provides equal treatment across all states and is about delivering choice, opportunity and quality education for all Australian students. It also ends Labor’s 27 special and separate deals with states and territories, unions and non-government school leaders.  There should be one deal that is fair to all.

All schools – government and non-government – should be open, transparent and accountable about the funding they receive, how it is determined and who they receive the funding from.

The next stage of the Coalition Government’s Quality Schools reform is being led by David Gonski AC, who will advise the Government on improving the results of Australian students, including recommending the most effective teaching and learning strategies for students.  This inquiry will help ensure that the increased funding of our fair reforms will deliver real results for students.

Yours sincerely,

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Federal Member for Cook