Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Inga Williams

More money for public schools while universities miss out

STATE leaders will be asked to chip in to roll out $14.5 billion in new national education reforms, partly funded by cuts of billions of dollars to universities.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the education funding proposal - based on the Gonski Education Review recommendations - on Sunday.

The National Plan for School Improvement will mean $14.5 billion in public investment for schools across Australia over six years, with public schools getting the biggest share of the pie.

Ms Gillard says the Federal Government would fund 65% of the plan and called on state premiers and chief ministers to increase their own school budgets by 3% per year.

More than $12 billion will go to public schools compared to $1.4 billion for Catholic schools and $1 billion for independent institutions.

NSW will receive the biggest share with $5 billion in additional funding over six years.

Queensland will see $3.8 billion and Victoria $4 billion.

South Australia and Tasmania are in line for $600 million and $400 million respectively while Western Australia gets the least with $300 million.

The increased funding will mean every primary school student will get $9217 by 2014 and high school students will receive an average of $12,193.

However, the figures are based on state and territory cooperation.

Extra money in loadings will be delivered to students from lower socio economic backgrounds, indigenous students, students with disability, students with limited English proficiency, small schools, and school location.

The sweeping reform proposal follows revelations the Federal Government would slash $2.3 billion from its spending on higher education to fund the new proposal.

Regional Universities Network chair Professor David Battersby said that the cuts were a significant setback for regional universities and their students.

"Regional universities, in particular, will feel the impact because the economies of scale under which we operate tend to be much more susceptible to reductions in government funding," he said.

"Regional students will also be disadvantaged by the announced reductions in government funding and support.

"In particular, the conversion of student start-up scholarships into a loan will impact on regional students, many of whom have to relocate for university education.

"Their debt burden may now become unmanageable."




Nation's state schools to receive Federal Govt funding boost

STATE schools would be the big winners of federal education reforms, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to announce today they would receive more than 80 per cent of a $14.5 billion boost in spending over six years.

However, the school reforms will be paid for with savage slashes to universities and students, with $2.8 billion in cuts targeting many of the most disadvantaged.

Victorian universities would lose an estimated $200 million in funding over the next two years.

Ms Gillard will outline further details of her school funding reforms later today, including what proportion the states would be required to contribute.

If Victoria signs up, its schools would receive an extra $4 billion of combined state and federal funding between 2014 and 2019.

>> To read more head to the Brisbane Times website

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