Gonski 2.0: how it will affect public, Catholic and private schools

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Students take the final examination of their primary school in Sanaa June 25, 2013. The final examination is held during the 9th grade of primary education in Yemen.
Students take the final examination of their primary school in Sanaa June 25, 2013. Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

A leaked data given to the Senate crossbench prior to the vote has reportedly revealed how the multi-billion dollar transfer of taxpayer money from Catholic schools to public schools will take place. If the new Gonski 2.0 funding model passes, Australia’s public schools will obtain a $4 billion windfall over the next ten years.

Based on data from the Department of Education, Catholic schools would be $4.6 billion worse shall the Turnbull government's school funding changes pass. The situation could be worse for them than under the current legislation.

The leaked modelling, which was obtained by Fairfax Media, sees how public, Catholic and private schools across Australia will be affected by the Senate's decision to support or block Gonski 2.0. It indicates Catholic schools would lose as much as $705 million over the next four years if the changes are approved. The public schools, on the other hand, will earn $693 million.

As for the private school sector, it is expected to see little changes. It will likely pick up only an extra $12 million over the next four years.

Conservative 'best case' scenario

The modelling is based on a conservative "best case" scenario of how Education Minister Simon Birmingham would respond if its legislation is blocked. It indicates that funding for New South Wales public schools will rise by 72 million over the next four years.

Over the decade, it can increase by as much as $225 million. Public schools in Victoria will be better off by $202 million over the next four years and $1.24 billion better off over the next ten years.

By contrast, Catholic schools across New South Wales would lose $1.16 billion if the changes are passed. Victorian Catholic schools will be $1.6 billion worse off than under the current arrangement, the worst hit by the government's changes.

Private school sector will be worse off by $138 million. The sector would see little effects overall in Victoria, receiving $30 million less than under the existing legislation.

Christian Zahra, National Catholic Education Commission executive director, said Minister Birmingham and his Coalition colleagues must think long and hard about “if they want this attack on Catholic education to be their legacy,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports. But Birmingham has assured federal school funding would increase by nearly $19 billion over ten years under the government's plan. Spending on Catholic schools will rise by 3.5 percent per year. For other education related news, watch the video below.

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