Catholic schools singled out for cuts in new funding system
The Federal Government today has unfairly singled out the Catholic schools sector for funding cuts.
“A majority of the 24 schools targeted by the Minister for a cut in funding are independent Catholic schools,” acting Executive Director Danielle Cronin said.
“In addition, the Government will force Catholic schools to phase out over the next 10 years the System Weighted Average, a mechanism that ensures resources are distributed equitably among schools that belong to a single Catholic schools authority but are spread over a wide socio-economic area,” Ms Cronin said.
Government schools in each state will still able to use the System Weighted Average mechanism.
“The System Weighted Average is integral to the efficient and equitable functioning of the Catholic education system.
“It provides the mechanism through which the Catholic sector supports centrally its 1731 schools and meets locally identified need.
“It helps equalise resources across diverse school communities. Fundamentally, Catholic education believes a such a system approach exists for all government school systems and should equally exist for Catholic school systems. “
“The State government school sectors also operate as a system of schools. It is the best way to target the resources based on need across a range of schools that serve different socio-economic communities.”
Ms Cronin said Catholic education is deeply concerned by the Government’s lack of consultation and the lack of detail in today’s announcement.
“It is unprecedented for a federal government to announce a 10 year school funding plan without consulting the second largest provider of school education in the country.
“We are concerned that Catholic schools in some states and territories may be forced to raise fees as a result of this Government’s funding changes.
“Today’s announcement has only created immediate uncertainty for principals, teachers and parents, who need to make decisions now about schooling next year.
“We urge the Prime Minister to enter into meaningful negotiations with the Catholic sector.”
CONTACT: Jim Hanna • NCEC Communications • (02) 9287 1556• 0414 828 629