Thursday, March 24, 2011

AUSTRALIA: FUNDING MAINTAINED PROVISIONS FOR SCHOOLS

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: The National Catholic Education Commission has said it expects "funding maintained" provisions will not survive the school funding review being led by David Gonski, according to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Tim Smith of the National Catholic Education Commission also told a Canberra forum organised by the Independent Education Union, which represents non-government school teachers, that the Catholic sector would argue that no school should be worse off in real terms.

''We think it's gone,'' he told the forum.

Under the model introduced in 2001, the federal government allocates funding to private schools according to a formula that measures the socio-economic status of a school community as determined by census data. Schools that draw students from higher status areas receive lower levels of funding than those from lower status areas.


Critics have pilloried the so-called ''funding maintained'' provisions, which apply to 55 per cent of Catholic schools and 17 per cent of independent schools.But because the Howard government promised that no school would be worse off under its system, 1083 schools have had their funding entitlements preserved with full indexation at the levels they enjoyed before joining the socio-economic status model.

An issues paper released by the Gonski review panel in December said education groups had told it ''the arrangements seemed to operate as a separate and second funding model that applied to a prescribed group of non-government schools which provided a secure and favourable funding environment, but one that was not consistent with the equal application of the SES funding model''.

The review panel is expected to deliver its report to the government late this year.

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=25606

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