Boost for school funding

Justice Stephen Rothman.

THE Australian Council of Jewish Schools (ACJS) has cautiously welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement that the government will provide $3.2 billion over 10 years to independent schools.

Under the new deal, funding will be linked to parental income from 2020 using data collection and analysis to ensure it is targeted at students who need it most.

A further $1.2 billion will be provided for a new fund to address specific challenges in the non-government school sector.

“A vibrant, fairly funded non-government school sector ensures parents retain the choice of where to send their kids to school,” Morrison said last Thursday.

“The non-government system provides an alternative which improves standards and competition across the board, while also alleviating pressure on the state system.”

In an interview with The AJN, the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of parents having the option to send their children to faith-based schools, adding, “It’s about beliefs, it’s about culture, it’s about what you want your family to be about and what’s important to you.

“And how your children are educated, I think, is inextricably linked to all that.”

Commenting on the announcement, ACJS national co-chair Justice Stephen Rothman said, “The Australian Council of Jewish Schools compliments the government on adhering to a principle that means there will be an equitable treatment of students, regardless of the sector of education in which they attending.

“Of itself that is an important principle the ACJS has always supported and we thank the government for adhering to that principle.”

He continued, “The details of the effect on each school are not yet clear because they require an examination of the model and the data that will be used, neither of which is yet available, but we are hopeful that these additional moneys will address some of the inequities that existed before the announcement.”

GARETH NARUNSKY