School funding debate ramps up

It is looking like the Federal Education Minister has some work to do ahead of Tuesday’s debate on planned changes to schools funding.

Minister Simon Birmingham doesn’t expect to be forced to make changes, despite reports in The Australian hinting at internal unrest.

Catholic schools would receive $3.4 billion extra under the original proposal, but lose about $4 billion over the decade because their funding would not grow as fast as it would compared to Labor’s existing Gonski model.


Gonski reportedly has backing from retiring Liberal senator Chris Back but Liberal senator Eric Abetz isn’t keen.

Liberal MP Kevin Andrews has also indicated he will give it the thumbs down.

Under the Coalition proposal, schools would get an extra $24 billion in federal funding over the next few years.

The Turnbull Government is also tossing up whether to throw in an extra $5 billion sweetener to lock in Greens’ support.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has confirmed the government wants to pass the Gonski reforms in the next four days to give schools some funding certainty before the Parliament’s six-week winter break.

The Courier Mail says Queensland will suffer a $300 million shortfall under the Coalition plan.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports 24 four private schools – mostly high-fee schools in Sydney’s northern suburbs – will have their funding cut next year.

According to the Gonski formula, they are getting too much cash.

This change will have a big impact for schools such as Loreto Kiribilli in Sydney which will have its funding cut by 5.6 per cent a year over the next decade – a $13.9 million decrease.