Parents should be free to choose the type of education they want for their children. Catholic schools fulfil parents’ rights in a democratic, free society to choose the schooling for their children which reflects their own values, beliefs and hopes as Australians.
Catholic schools are funded by Federal and State Governments, as well as parent contributions (fees). On average, Catholic school students currently receive 17 per cent less government funding than if they attended government schools, making it necessary for Catholic schools to operate more efficiently than government schools and charge fees to maintain the high quality of education that Catholic Education is known for and our families rightly expect.
Even when parent contributions are taken into account, on average, Catholic schools operate at a resourcing level of 90% of that of government schools.
Federal Government funding of schools is constantly under review. The Catholic sector is pushing for the gap to be closed between the level of government funding received by Catholic schools and government schools.
Catholic schools strive to keep fees as low as possible so that more families can choose a Catholic school for their children. If Catholic school funding is frozen, reduced, or fails to keep pace with government school funding, Catholic schools may be forced to increase their school fees. If fees go up, the extra cost may lead to parents taking their children out of Catholic schools, and in turn put further pressure on government schools, and cost government more money. To make sure this does not happen, it is vital that governments fund Catholic schools fairly into the future.
About one in five Australian students attends a Catholic school and in Far North Queensland, that figure is closer to one in four. Parents are urged to stay informed. For further information on Catholic school funding visit www.fundinginfo.catholic.edu.au