School funding: A continuing source of inequality

The Age reports that: The average public funding of some of Victoria’s most elite private schools increased at eight times the rate of the neediest public schools, a new analysis reveals.

According to an analysis of the most recent My School data by Trevor Cobbold, a former Productivity Commission economist and convenor of public education lobby group Save Our Schools.

Government funding for Korowa increased by 38 per cent; St. Catherine’s by 30 per cent; Melbourne Grammar by 29 per cent; Genazzano FCJ College by 26 per cent; and Firbank, Haileybury College, PLC and Xavier College by 25 per cent,” the report said.

Glenroy College, which The Age revealed last week accommodated asylum seekers living in detention, was hit with a 3 per cent cut.

It would appear that the inequity, which is systemic in the funding of primary and secondary education in Australia, continues unabated.

Much of the commentary on the Republican and Democratic nominations in the US centres around a deep sense of anger and disillusion with the inequities inherent in the governance of the country. The backlash against the entrenched privilege of the economic elites is being manifested by the rise of politicians like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Domino man

It is arguable that neither of them is electable, but they indicate a significant shift in American political opinion.  Sanders, like Jeremy Corbin in the UK, is a socialist. Not a real,  Capital S socialist, but an American socialist nonetheless. It was once almost thinkable that someone of his political views could be considered as a candidate for the presidency.

Trump is a complete political maverick whose views on a whole range of policy issues, think a wall (at Mexican expense) between America and Mexico,  would be totally  unworkable should he become President.

But this is what happens when inequity and inequality come to dominate the political and social landscape.

Perhaps one day the Australian electorate will become sick and tired of the inequities built into the taxation system, the inequities of the funding of public education and the predominance of corporate over public interest in public policy.

Let’s just hope that it doesn’t throw up a Donald Trump.

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