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The cover of the research report (Catholic Schools NSW)

New research from Catholic Schools NSW confirms the extent of money saved by taxpayers by government support of school choice for parents.

The report, published yesterday, reveals that non-government schools save taxpayers at least $4.59 billion each year in recurrent funding and that Catholic schools in New South Wales alone represent a $500 million annual saving for taxpayers. It also shows that if all government and non-government schools received their full funding entitlement under the Australian Education Act 2013, savings to taxpayers would be $6.31 billion each year in recurrent funding. 

These savings include $2.04 billion for primary students and $4.27 billion for secondary students. Catholic schools make up $2.96 billion of the total amount saved, and Independent schools $3.35 billion.

Parent contributions to capital funding for schools save further taxpayer money, as non-government schools typically cover over 90 per cent of capital expenditure from private sources – around $4.48 billion in 2022.

Catholic Schools NSW chief executive Dallas McInerney said the research cut through the hype to demonstrate the tangible benefits of parental choice in education and the strength of Australia’s diverse education offerings.

“The recent debate on school funding is too often presented as a zero-sum game between different schools and unhelpfully tinged with appeals to envy and populism,” Mr McInerney said.

“The fundamentals of the mixed model of school provision remain strong: parents value choice and critically, the taxpayer is way better off when non-government schools are supported, as we see with the billions saved every year.

“Parents’ contributions to capital funding increase savings to the taxpayer and the government, as non-government schools typically cover over 90 per cent of capital expenditure from private sources—around $4.48 billion in 2022.”


Research confirms parental choice in education saves taxpayers billions (Catholic Schools NSW)