Recently there has been much discussion and passionate debate over ‘proposed’ changes to public school funding which some commentators have reported may result in parents from high income families paying for their child’s education in a public school.
This debate has stemmed from a confidential green paper which has recently been leaked which allegedly discusses four possible options for potential changes to government school funding. These options are:
- Give state and territory governments full responsibility for schools and their funding,
- State and Territory governments to fund government (public) schools and the federal government to fund non government schools,
- Keep the current arrangements but look at reducing federal government involvement in schools
- The Federal government becomes the primary funder of all schools.
It’s this last option which has sparked the recent discussions and debate we’ve all undoubtedly seen in the media. It’s been suggested that under this option, federal government funding for schools would be provided for all students and “adjusted for student need and the ability of families to make a contribution”, and the individual state and territory governments would then have to make the decision if they will provide additional funds to maintain free access to public education.
What’s important to remember in all of this, is that no one has yet to see the actual report and at the stage we don’t actually know if the the issue of means testing and contribution to public school fees by high income families is even an option. The second point to keep in mind is that these suggestions are all contained in a green paper which is purely a discussion paper and not a government policy.
What do you think about this issue?