An additional $4.5 billion in funding has been secured for the Catholic and independent school sector resulting from changes to how private schools are funded.
The Government is moving from a funding model reliant on census data to one that uses parental tax to calculate the average wealth of a school.
The funding boost, unveiled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is a significant victory for the Catholic schools sector which was in revolt following funding alterations in last year’s Gonski legislation.
Mr Morrison said that this would give students the chance to get the “best results from school” and meant that “choice remains affordable” for parents.
He added that it would mean “certainty of funding” for teachers to allow them to “get on with the job”.
The changes mean that Catholic schools will be able to keep fees down. This will also include in suburbs that are wealthier on average.
CSNSW (Catholic Schools NSW) said that these new changes to the funding model would ensure that Australian families still had an affordable, independent schooling option.
Education Minister Dan Tehan echoed the general sentiment that the changes would create “affordable choice for parents”.
The new funding also has transition arrangements designed to give Catholic schools that are overfunded more time to switch to a lower level of funding as part of a 10-year timeframe.
Tanya Plibersek, Labor’s education spokesperson, asked the Prime Minister Scott Morrison why he had “turned his back” on the public school system, having given a special funding boost the Catholic and independent sector. She said that the Government was telling Australians who opted for public schooling “we don’t care about your kid”.