Labor’s “Fair Go For Schools” website offering parents a guarantee of how much extra every public school in Australia will secure under a Bill Shorten government is “misleading”.
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes has told The New Daily that the “wild promises” being offered to parents under Labor’s big-spending education agenda are worthy of greater scrutiny.
Education experts warn the figures provided do not account for the cost of teacher training or head office operations, providing a misleading figure to parents.
“The federal government does not provide money directly to individual schools, so it would be very difficult for federal Labor to determine what each school will receive,” Mr Stokes said.
“Oppositions like to make wild promises about all sorts of things, while providing little detail of where this money will come from or how it will be spent.
“People should be especially sceptical when the promise comes from a Labor Party that simply cannot be trusted when it comes to managing the economy.”
Labor’s Fair Go website allows parents to type in their school and estimate how much extra funding a school will receive.
It’s also being used by Labor campaigners to run up large figures to promote how much extra funding public schools in marginal seats will secure.
However, it’s not just the NSW Liberal government raising concerns about the data on the website.
Catholic Schools NSW remains opposed to the website and it’s understood Catholic schools don’t want Labor to extend the funding estimator to include Catholic schools.
“Funding estimators are misleading because they only show the funding attracted to each sector on a per student basis – not how resources are deployed in practice at a school level, which is primarily on the basis of the number and type of teachers and support staff required to meet students’ needs in each classroom,” a spokesman said.
“Eighty per cent of recurrent funding goes to pay teachers and other staff.”
Former education minister Simon Birmingham angered Catholic leaders last year when he unveiled a national schools funding estimator for all public and private schools in Australia.
The Archbishop of Melbourne Peter A Comensoli complained directly to Mr Birmingham, urging him not to reveal how much individual Catholic schools would secure, arguing any figure would be misleading.