New report warns of school funding shortfall across nation

SCHOOLS around the country could be left almost 20% short of the promised Gonski "schooling resource standard" if more funding is not committed after 2017, a new report has found.

The report, released by the Australian Education Union this week, was completed by Dr Jim McMorrow, a former First Assistant Commissioner at the Commonwealth Schools Commission.

It found shortfalls by both the previous and current federal governments that would mean up to 20% of the nation's public schools would be forced to operate below the "schooling resources standard" set by David Gonski's review of the sector.

The report analysed the Abbott Government's only official budget estimates released to date, in December, to find overall funding for public schools was $90 million less, and private schools $34 million more, than projected by Labor's May budget last year.

However, it still found "real increases" of about 16% or $790 million to public schools and 10% or $845 million to private schools, over the forward estimates.

AEU federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said the overall rises to the middle of 2017, when the money will run out, represented just over $200 per public and private school student.

"The report makes clear that is not enough to address the 'serious funding deficiencies and inequities' revealed by the Gonski Review," he said.

"The 2014 Federal budget must show an ongoing commitment to Gonski. Failing to deliver more than one third of the funding will only compound the inequity that the Gonski Review warned we had to address."

While Education Minister Christopher Pyne promised before the election to deliver the same funding standard as the Gonski reforms, he has since initiated a review of the funding model, with some results expected next year.

The new funding model for schools is expected to be rolled out from 2017, when the current promised funding ends.


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