Funding for Queensland private schools increased by 21 per cent between 2012/13 and 2017/18. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Funding for Queensland private schools increased by 21 per cent between 2012/13 and 2017/18. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Government funding for private schools surges

TAXPAYER spending on education has risen twice as fast for private school pupils than state school students, an official report reveals.

A Courier-Mail analysis of new Productivity Commission data to be released today shows that taxpayer funding to private school students across Queensland has soared 21 per cent in five years.

But spending on state school students increased by just 8.9 per cent between 2012/13 and 2017/18, in real terms.

Private schools, which charge parents up to $27,000 a year in fees, received an average of $11,758 in taxpayer cash per student in 2017/18 - $2068 more than in 2012/13.

State and federal government spending on Queensland state schools rose just $1471, to $18,071 per student - with half the money used to pay teacher salaries.

The taxpayer money includes federal and state government funding, but not grants for capital works such as buildings.

High school students cost more to educate, receiving $19,000 per student in Queensland state schools, compared to $15,918 for primary school kids.

Taxpayers will fork out $225,000 to educate each student in Queensland state schools, from prep to Year 12.

 

 

The Productivity Commission data shows the biggest funding increase has come from the federal government, which directs money to schools in poor suburbs and students with a disability under the so-called Gonski needs-based funding model.

State governments are responsible for public schools, yet Queensland government funding rose just 2.9 per cent over five years, to $15,091 per student.

Federal funding soared 54 per cent to $2980 for every state school student.

In private schools, federal funding grew 24 per cent to $8705 per student while state government funding increased by just 13 per cent to $3053.

One in six Queensland students has a disability, but the most profoundly disabled students are three times more likely to attend a state school than a private or Catholic school.

Despite the boost in funding, literacy and numeracy standards among Year 9 students have barely budged over the past decade.

Reading performance has improved, however, among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, with 87 per cent of Year 3s reaching the national standard in 2018, compared to just 66 per cent in 2008.

Eleven per cent of Queensland students - including a quarter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students - dropped of school before finishing Year 12.

A year after leaving high school, one in seven Queensland Year 12 graduates was unemployed and looking for work, or had stopped working or studying last year.