Wealthy private schools receive extra funding

April 15, 2016
Sydney Grammar School has built a 1500 seat recital hall with public money.

Twenty of Sydney's wealthiest private schools received $111 million in public money last year, allowing them to build tennis courts, flyover theatre towers, multi-story carparks and swimming pools with underwater cameras.

According to MySchool data, the five most expensive schools in Sydney have received more than $92 million in state and federal government funding since 2012, equivalent to the total cost of building three new public schools.

Over the past 15 years, total Commonwealth and state government funding for private schools has grown at more than twice the rate of funding for public schools, and in more recent years, funding for public schools has been cut while private school funding still increased.

Between 1998-99 and 2013-14, government funding per private school student, adjusted for inflation, increased by 39% compared with only 17% for public schools. More recently, between 2009-10 and 2013-14, real funding for public schools funding per student fell by 3% while private school funding increased by 10%.

Since 2009, total government funding per student for many high fee, exclusive private schools in Victoria and NSW increased by several times more than for many highly disadvantaged schools.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said: "It is a travesty that while some public schools struggle for basic facilities, millions of dollars of public money is subsidising the fifteenth playing field or second pool for the wealthiest private schools in the country."

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