The Australian Education Union says parents with children at public schools will be alarmed to read media reports today on Malcolm Turnbull’s taxpayer-funded handouts to overfunded, elite private schools.
“Malcolm Turnbull overfunds wealthy private schools by hundreds of millions every year at the expense of needy students in public schools,” said Meredith Peace, President of the Australian Education Union in Victoria.
“Reports today about the taxpayer-funded real estate acquisition plans of these wealthy schools sit in stark contrast with the many public schools in Victoria struggling to stretch their curriculum budget to provide basic educational essentials.
“These over-funded schools continue to receive funding increases every year. We are talking about schools with Olympic-sized swimming pools, wellness centres, ‘United Nations Rooms’ and ‘Imaginariums’.
“Struggling public schools educate more than 80 percent of disadvantaged students, yet Malcolm Turnbull has cut their funding.
“Students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, children with learning difficulties, children from regional areas, children who have English as a second language, these children continue to miss out under Malcolm Turnbull’s education funding model.
“The system is broken when hardworking taxpayers are funding elite private schools and the students most in need miss out.
“The inequality gap in our school system is getting worse. The Turnbull government may think this is a winning electoral strategy but its deep failure to address inequality represents a blatant disregard for low and middle-income families whose children attend public schools.
“Malcolm Turnbull’s overfunding of private schools doesn’t just entrench inequality in our school system, it entrenches it in our society,” said Ms Peace.