I spend a lot of time working with all schools in the local area and I would not want Balmain voters to get the wrong impression on the NSW Greens intentions on education funding.
We clearly differentiate between the wealthiest private schools and the rest of the non-government system. Our Education Policy PDF document is very comprehensive but I thought I’d address two points people raise:
We seek the end of public funds to the wealthiest private schools. I include the relevant policy point below:
“31. The Greens NSW will work towards ending all public funding of the wealthiest private schools. Public funds that are given to these schools under current arrangements should be committed instead to equity programs within the public school system.”
These are the schools that operate at many times the per student spending levels of public education. Funding schools such as King's in Parramatta and Ascham creates more divisions and takes $300 million that could be spent on public schools that serve disadvantaged communities.
Our policy proposes the increases in funding to private schools be limited to the rate of inflation with the benchmark set at 2003.
“37. The Greens NSW believe that state funding of private schools should be adjusted so that the total allocation of commonwealth and state funding to all private schools is frozen at its year 2003 level, adjusted for inflation, and that further increases in the education budget should be directed to public schools and TAFE colleges.”
No non-government school would be forced to put up its fees or close its doors. By redirecting the increase in funds to the public sector, the Greens would be able to begin to address the urgent needs of public schools.
There are major resource shortages in the public education system and there is not a bottomless state and federal budget. Therefore we believe it is reasonable to cap private school funding at this high level and if there are additional increases in funding it be directed to the public education system.
Please let me know if you have any further questions and I trust you can see we are working to address the very serious social disadvantage in our public schools.