"Stingy 5% increase in schools' operations grant
22 May 2008
Stingy 5% increase in schools' operations grant continues creeping privatisation of public education
Yesterday's pre-budget announcement of a five percent increase in Operations Grant funding for schools continues the creeping privatisation of public education.
It's a stingy increase which will be absorbed by the rate in inflation of 3.7% (for the year to March 2008 year) which is expected to rise further over the next 12 months.
What was needed was a circuit-breaking increase of at least 10% which would have eased pressure on parents and communities who are the hapless victims expected to make up the funding deficits.
Demands on parents to pay are growing year by year because of this widening gap between government funding and what schools know is required to provide quality education.
We are moving closer to a privatised "user pays" model of education whereby families are being heavily pressured by schools seeking "voluntary donations" of up to $800 per year.
The shortfall will be felt most acutely at schools in low-income communities where the educational need is greatest and where it is most difficult for families to contribute to school funding. The gaps in parental income which have become a chasm in the last 25 years are now being duplicated in school incomes.
QPEC will be continuing to work over the coming months to push education issues to the front of the political agenda in election year.