6 April 2023

An anonymous contributor to Overland writes: “There is no such thing as a private education in Australia. According to Tom Greenwell and Chris Bonnor in their book Waiting for Gonski, In 2011 the ‘government fully covered the costs of the teaching workforce in 95% of all Australian schools’ including non-government schools—which means the money being raked in through exorbitant fees and donations is funding vanity projects to attract a greater percentage of affluent students away from public schools, as opposed to funding the teaching costs of private schools themselves. Non-government school fees increased by 50 per cent over the last decade and public funding to non-government schools increased five times more than for public schools during the same period under the guise of improving accessibility and choice to poorer students. The funding disparity has led to the exodus of affluent students to non-government and selective schools. In turn, this exodus has created a segregated education system in Australia where poor, First Nations and disabled students are ghettoised into underfunded and unsustainable learning environments. … There is no coherent argument for Australian education’s funding arrangements. Classrooms isolated from our communities do not give students any tools to reinvent the world. Monocultures do not afford a greater understanding of your own and your peers’ humanity. Public subsidies for luxury facilities are not a pragmatic investment in the future. Australian education is failing by any metric imaginable and it is the deliberate outcome of government funding decisions.”