David Zyngler writes in The Conversation (1.2.16) that ‘Canberra now gives more money to private schools than it does to universities – more than $36 billion in federal funds went to non-government schools in the period 2009-2013. Recent research predicts that most Catholic schools will soon receive more public money per student than public schools.
‘Federal government funding for high-fee private schools is six to ten times greater than the additional funding provided to disadvantaged schools.
‘But the goal of a fairer Australia, at least, has been hampered from the start.
‘Once the Gillard government committed to the Catholic and independent school lobbies that not one of their schools would lose a single dollar under the reforms, the opportunity for a fairer, genuine needs-based school funding system was lost.
‘We have to ask, can we remain a functioning democracy without a strong public education system?’