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The Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) is calling on all candidates in the Longman by-election to outline their commitment to fair funding for all schools.
QCEC Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said all candidates needed to commit to a model that treated the State, Catholic and Independent sectors fairly and did not leave any students at a disadvantage.
Dr Perry has written to the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader ahead of the by-election asking them to address key areas of concern for Queensland Catholic schools.
“We’re seeking a commitment from the major parties to address three key issues,” Dr Perry said.
“We strongly support the recent recommendations of the National School Resourcing Board around how the government should calculate each school community’s capacity to contribute to the cost of education and we are looking to see the recommendations implemented.
“There also needs to be more work done around the new funding model for students with disability, so we can be certain that funding is going where it’s needed most.
“Finally, we are asking the Government and Opposition to revisit the provisions for Catholic schools facing a reduction in funding so that they can adapt and plan for that, like Independent schools in the same situation, over 10 years instead of the six years currently mandated.
Responses from the ALP and LNP are set out in the table below.
|Issue||ALP Response||LNP Response|
|School funding |
Catholic schools seek a fair, needs-based funding model.
|The ALP has committed to school funding levels that would see Catholic schools receive an extra $250 million over the two school years following the first Labor budget in addition to the already legislated annual increases.||Under the Government’s funding model Catholic schools in Queensland will receive an average funding increase of 3.7 per cent each year for the next four years.|
Catholic school communities want their capacity to contribute to the cost of education to be assessed using more relevant data
|The ALP supports the review by the National School Resourcing Board and will advocate for alternative arrangements to better support schools to receive fair funding.||The Government listened to the concerns of the Catholic sector and ordered a review of the SES methodology. The Government will consult with school authorities on implementing recommendations from the review.|
|Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)|
Catholic schools are concerned the data being used to calculate funding for students with disability is not robust and could lead to unfair outcomes
|If elected the ALP will commission the National Schools Resourcing Board to undertake an immediate and in-depth review of the data underlying funding for students with disability.||NCCD Guidelines have been accepted by all education authorities. Data is checked and assessed through the federal Department of Education and Training. The Government is investing $20 million to enhance the quality and consistency of the data.|
Catholic schools facing a reduction in government funding must transition down over six years while Independent schools in the same situation have been given 10 years to transition.
|The ALP response did not address the inequitable arrangement for schools transitioning down within our Catholic system.||The faster transition time has only been applied to approved authorities that will be better off overall. The six-year transition period will benefit Catholic systemic schools which are mostly receiving increased funding.|