School Funding Fails Public Schools
Monday November 27 2023
It's urgent! ASPA calls for all our public schools to be fully funded to 100% of the School Resource Standard (at a minimum) through the upcoming National School Reform Agreement.
The AEU's report "How School Funding Fails Public Schools" by Adam Rorris released last week shows once again just how pronounced the disparity is in how we fund each school sector in Australia. The fact is, most Australian kids go to public schools. Public schools also educate the majority of our disadvantaged. Yet we do not target our resources where they are most needed.
It's about ensuring every kid gets a fair go, no matter who their parents are. The disparities in educational outcomes between our advantaged and disadvantaged students are getting worse. We are deeply concerned by these widening gaps. We concur with Correna Haythorpe: fully funding public schools is the cornerstone of offering each child every opportunity to succeed.
The numbers are glaring – only 1.3% of public schools are funded to the SRS. This must change. Furthermore, we call for the introduction of new initiatives in this NSRA to measure and report on social segregation between schools. There are more students from the most disadvantaged quarter of the population in public schools (37%) than from the most advantaged half of the population (36%) (My School 2022). We are well below the OECD average on social segregation in our schools, in fact we are closer to the bottom. (Equity In Education: Equity in Education: Breaking Down Barriers to Social Mobility, OECD 2018).
We have tried everything else in Australia, let's try equity; other systems have and demonstrated improvement. We are one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Our children and educators deserve better. Let's take a decisive step towards ensuring that every child, in every school, gets the resources they need to achieve their fullest potential.