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New Report Sets the Record Straight on Public Funding for Schools

More than three quarters (76%) of all recurrent government funding spent on school education in Queensland goes to state schools, according to the latest national report card on government services released today.

The Productivity Commission’s 2018 Report on Government Services in the education sector confirmed Queensland state schools receive more than three times as much recurrent public funding as non-state schools.

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said the report, compiled from published and unpublished government statistical and budget data, dispelled ongoing and inaccurate misconceptions about how schools are funded.

“This report spells out in black and white exactly what state and federal governments spend on school education in the state and non-state schooling sectors and how this breaks down to average per student spending,” Mr Robertson said.

“In 2015-16 total government recurrent expenditure per non-state school student in Queensland was $10,512 compared with $16,867 per state school student,” he said.

“If every one of the more than 260,000 non-state school students in Queensland took up a full taxpayer funded place at a state school, the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments would face an additional $1.7 billion education bill. Nationally the cost would tip $9 billion.”

The report showed total recurrent public funding for Queensland state schools grew at more than twice the rate of non-state schools between 2014-15 and 2015-16. In 2015-16, Queensland and Commonwealth Governments spent a combined $8.93 billion on state schools (a 3.2% increase on 2014-15) compared with $2.76 billion on non-state schools (a 1.4% increase on the previous year).

The majority of government funding allocated to state schools comes from the Queensland Government (85%), while non-state schools receive the majority of their government funding from the Australian Government (74%).

Mr Robertson said the report also confirmed parents of non-state school students were almost matching government investment in school education.

“In 2016 parents contributed in the order of $10 billion a year at a national level or 42.8% of non-state school costs, with governments contributing the remaining 57.2%,” he said.

“Parents who make the choice to send their child to a non-state school, some at significant sacrifice, are reducing the tax burden that would otherwise fall on all Australian families.”

“With analysis of household income census data showing that 50 percent of Queensland families earning in excess of $2,346 per week choose a free state education with limited out of pocket expense, it’s time for the inflammatory and negative campaign against non-state schools and their families to cease.”


Justine Nolan | 0428 612 315 |

Upcoming Events

Funding Certainty for Schools

20 September 2018 - Independent Schools Queensland says the school funding package announced by the Australian Government today provides vital short-term funding certainty for independent schools and also outlines a roadmap for the future.

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Celebrating the Sector's First HALTs

7 September 2018 - Queensland’s independent schooling sector last night celebrated the accomplishments of 25 exceptional educators who have confirmed their places among the nation’s top guns of teaching.

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The impact of the Parental Income Tax measure

16 October 2018 - ISQ ED David Robertson discusses the potential impact of the Parental Income Tax (PIT) measure on funding for the sector. Meanwhile ISQ Director (Strategic Relations), Shari Armistead, together with Senior Advisor (Public Affairs), Justine Nolan examines the power of parental engagement in educational performance.

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