government funding of private schools

An analysis of the latest data published on the MySchool website for the Australian Education Union, shows that between 2009 and 2015, education spending by Commonwealth and state governments increased nearly three times as much to the independent sector and twice as much to Catholic schools as to public schools.

The analysis showed that between 2009 and 2015, combined state and federal funding rose by 38.7% for independent schools, 35.6% for Catholic schools and only 17.6% for public schools.

A new school funding analysis Uneven Playing Field — the state of Australia’s schools, says private schools are rapidly becoming public schools, based on the amount of public funding they receive.

The report says the argument that subsidising private schools saves public funds was questionable and for all but the wealthiest schools, fees are now the “icing on the cake”.

Melbourne's Age newspaper has run a series of articles highlighting what it calls middle class “white flight” from inner north state schools closest to the Housing Commission towers, leading to unofficial segregation along race and class lines. Experts say this phenomenon is mirrored around the country in areas where public housing meets affluent areas, such as the inner-Melbourne suburb of Carlton and inner-Sydney suburbs of Redfern and Glebe, as the gentrification of public schools with booming enrolments impacts on poorer students' access to a good education.
Since 1880, it has been a fundamental right of every Australian to access free public education. Recently this came into question when a federal government discussion paper was leaked, which posed the idea of the federal government taking over education funding and charging wealthier parents who send their children to public schools. Education Minister Christopher Pyne has come out in opposition to the suggestion, commenting on Twitter: “Charging wealthy parents for their children to attend public schools is not the government’s policy. I don’t support it.”
Australia’s most popular children’s author, Mem Fox, has criticised the federal government’s unfair funding of private schools. Fox was addressing an audience of public school educators at the National Press Club. She said the "confidence trick" of private schools marketing was being revealed, but governments persisted with unfair funding models. "The federal government spends two-thirds of its school education dollars on the one-third of students in Australia who go to private schools,” she said. “Where is our national sense of shame at that statistic?
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