We are a community of parents, carers, teachers, principals, school support staff and citizens, working together to speak up and demand proper and fair funding for public schools. We support the more than 2.6 million young people educated in our public schools to learn and achieve their best.
About the issue
Every school should be provided the resources it needs to ensure every child gets the best education, regardless of their background or circumstances. Across Australia, public schools are making a significant difference in the lives of Australian children, helping to level the playing field, overcome disadvantage and achieve excellence for all. That’s despite governments failing to properly and fairly fund public schools.
Federal government funding caps and underfunding
In 2017, the Federal Government amended the Australian Education ACT 2013, and changed the way that funding is delivered by capping the Commonwealth’s contribution to public school funding at 20% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS*). This amended legislation and subsequent bilateral agreements signed between the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments leaves 99% of public schools below the SRS by 2023.
In fact, less than half of all public schools will even reach 95 percent of the SRS by 2023, denying public schools the vital resources needed for their students and entrenching school funding inequality across Australia.
A $19 billion shortfall over the next four years
A report by economist Adam Rorris has calculated the funding shortfall at $19 billion for public schools over the next four years. In the bilateral agreements, there is a 4% depreciation tax applied to public schools (but not private schools). When this is factored in, the underfunding of public schools grows to $27 billion over the next four years.
In addition, the Rorris report shows that there is a significant need for increased capital expenditure to build more schools and classrooms and to invest in modern infrastructure. However, there is a gap in school capital investment between public and private schools, with the Federal Government providing zero capital funding to public schools. The cumulative Capital Investment Gap between public and private schools was $21.5 billion from 2013 to 2018.
As a result of this recurrent and capital school funding inequity, millions of public school students across Australia are missing out on the resources needed to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality education.
The Every School. Every Child. solution
Every public school must be funded properly and fairly to ensure that every child gets the best education, regardless of their background or circumstances.
- Fund public schools to a minimum of 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard(SRS) which is recognised as the minimum funding requirement to give every child, regardless of their background, the greatest opportunity to achieve their full potential; including fully funded loadings for students with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from low-SES backgrounds, rural and remote students, and students requiring English language support;
Remove the legislated 20% cap on the Commonwealth share of the SRS for public schools
Remove the 4% capital depreciation tax in school funding bilateral agreements
Establish a capital fund for public schools to help meet rising enrolment growth and infrastructure needs
Imagine the positive difference if every school was provided with the full funding they need for every child to succeed. Imagine every school has more teachers, and support staff, smaller class sizes and additional learning programmes for students. Imagine new high-quality classrooms and improved school facilities and equipment. Imagine that there was a level playing field, that disadvantage was overcome and that excellence was achieved for all.
* Understanding the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS)
The Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) is an estimate of how much total public funding a school needs to meet its students’ educational needs, and is based on recommendations from the 2011 Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling. The SRS is made up of a base amount for all primary and secondary students and up to six needs-based loadings for student priority cohorts and disadvantaged schools.