NSW Government school funding should follow need, not sector
Catholic Schools NSW (Catholic Schools New South Wales) today welcomed increased education funding in the 2019-2020 NSW Budget but said programs to address disadvantage should be provided to all students who need them, not just those in government schools.
Catholic Schools New South Wales Chief Executive Officer Dallas McInerney welcomed confirmation that the capital funding increase for non-government schools – announced before the March 2019 election – has been included in the Budget over the next four years.
“This will help ease the pressure on our parents and school communities, who currently fund some 90% of the capital projects in Catholic schools,” Mr McInerney said.
“We also welcome programs that address student disadvantage and believe these should support all students who need help, not only those in government schools.
“It is not only government schools that have needy students; non-government schools educate one in three NSW students, the vast majority from low and middle income families where much of the disadvantage exists.
“The principle of needs-based support demands that initiatives be available to all schools where student need exists.”
Mr McInerney said the NSW Budget allocated $120 million over four years to expand before and after school care – but only for parents with children in public primary schools.
“It also includes $88.4 million for 100 new school counsellors and 350 extra support officers to provide mental health and wellbeing support – but only for students in public high schools.
“This support is also needed by parents and students in many Catholic schools.
“I call on the NSW Government to extend these and other targeted programs to all sectors so that needy students receive wherever they go to school.”
NSW’s 598 Catholic schools educate some 255,000 students and employ more 31,000 teachers and other staff.
Catholic schools educate one in five NSW students.