Central Victorian public schools are being shortchanged under current “bizarre” state and federal funding models, a Bendigo principal believes.
The Victorian and federal governments are currently at an impasse over the funding split for public schools across the state, which has left state schools underfunded while non-government schools are over-funded.
Currently the Victorian government provides 80 per cent of a public schools’ funding, with the federal government chipping in the remainder.
Read more: Vic won't sign federal school funding deal
However, during recent negotiations, the Victorian government called on the federal government to increase its share of the Schooling Resourcing Standard from 20 to 25 per cent, which would ensure state schools received 100 per cent of the benchmark, the same proportion as non-government schools.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce said public schools were the only sector the federal government has not restored full funding for.
He said the “bizarre situation” meant some public schools have less than 100 per cent funding, while non-government schools have more than 100 per cent.
“From our sectors perspective were concerned that our schools are going to remain underfunded, especially given Victorian state schools are the lowest funded in the nation,” he said.
“From our school’s perspective there’s a range of things we'd like to be able to do for our students. We would love to be able to provide additional literacy and numeracy support, broaden range of subjects, and perhaps reduce class sizes.”
It comes as Labor this week promised to invest a further $22 million in central Victorian public schools over the next three years if it wins the federal election, which could be held in the first quarter of 2019.
“They (Liberals) have got their priorities wrong as public schools give every child access to a school education regardless of whether they have the ability to pay,” federal member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said.
Schools that will benefit from the promise include:
- Bendigo Senior Secondary College $2.5 million
- Castlemaine Secondary College $910,000
- Maiden Gully Primary School $640,000
- Kennington Primary School $690,000
- White Hills Primary School $810,000
- Kyneton Secondary $730,000
The federal government was contacted for comment.
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