The Federal Liberal-National Government has boosted funding for all Australian schools by more than $1 billion according to new data released today, yet in the same year four states and territories actually reduced their spending on government schools by as much as $56 million. 

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the official yearly data report from the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services shows that between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the Coalition boosted per student funding to government schools by 7.3 per cent and non-government schools by 5.3 per cent even when accounting for inflation, while real per student funding from states and territories grew by just 1.3 per cent for government schools and 2.1 per cent for non-government schools.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the data highlighted how states have been shifting the costs of their schools onto the Commonwealth. 

“This data speaks for itself – the Australian schools that need it most are getting record funding from the Federal Coalition Government,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Australian families, teachers and students are being misled by some state and territory leaders who say they’re for more funding but hypocritically fail to live up to their own lofty rhetoric. 

“State hypocrisy reaches spectacular heights in the case of the South Australian Labor Government, a full signatory to the so-called Gonski deal, who reduced state funding for government school students by more than five times the level of growth in federal funding, yet have wasted taxpayer dollars on campaigns criticising federal funding decisions that actually maintain real growth in future funding. 

“The Turnbull Government will not allow such cost shifting to continue.  In the policy we took to the last election, outlining how we would continue to grow investment in schools, we made it clear that such trickery from the states would not be allowed under new funding arrangements, which will tie future Commonwealth funding increases to guaranteed funding increases from the states and territories and the implementation of reforms that national and international evidence shows will boost student outcomes.

“The Turnbull Government’s Quality Schools, Quality Outcomes policy paper said that ‘from 2018, we will require states and territories to at least maintain the real level of their per student funding’.”