The National Catholic Education Commission has expressed strong concerns over the Government's decision to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as the basis for school funding indexation after 2017.
In a statement released last night, Catholic education said it welcomed the funding certainty for Catholic schools confirmed in the 2014-15 Federal Budget through to the end of the 2017 school year. 'This funding certainty will help systems and schools to plan for the next three years and assist school and system leaders to focus on the learning needs of students,' the statement said.
'However, based on recent experience, the school funding assumptions contained in the Federal Budget for 2018 and beyond will not meet the needs of schools and students.
'In the last decade the CPI has averaged less than 3%. This contrasts with school funding increases reflecting real costs in schools of almost 5.5%.
NCEC Executive Director, Ross Fox, said that limiting the rate of school funding increases to the CPI will likely mean funding would not keep up with school costs. 'School funding must keep up with real school costs. For the last ten years CPI has been around half the rate of school cost increases including teacher salaries and access to technologies that support learning.'
The West Australian reports that St Vincent de Paul Society has also criticised the budget. 'There are measures in this budget that rip the guts out of what remains of a fair and egalitarian Australia," said Vinnnies chief John Falzon.
NCEC budget statement (Release)
Welfare, benefits changes slammed (AAP/West Australian)
Abbott Government rules Gonski funding plan unaffordable (Daily Telegraph)