Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said the Federal Government had guaranteed choice in education for local parents through its agreement with the Catholic and Independent school sectors.
Senator Scullion said there were 40 Catholic and Independent schools in the Northern Territory.
“We have wonderful schools in the Northern Territory and the Coalition Government has now guaranteed that parents will continue to have a choice about where to send their kids to school,” Senator Scullion said.
“Our Government is providing increased funding to our schools to ensure better results for our students. In fact, our Government is providing record funding for education – record funding for child care, record funding for schools, record funding for higher education.
“Our record funding will be matched by a focus on results. We want to ensure that every Territory student gets the best possible education to realise their potential.”
Senator Scullion said the Government would transition to a fairer model for determining how non-government schools were funded as part of its response to the National School Resourcing Board’s Review of the socio-economic status (SES) score methodology.
“From 2020, we will use a new direct income measure to determine the capacity of a school community to contribute to their operating costs.”
“To support schools during the transition, the Commonwealth Government will also provide $1.2 billion over the next ten years to guarantee choice in education in the Northern Territory.
“Funding for Catholic and Independent schools is paid via the States and Territories, so if the State or Territory Education Ministers refuse to sign up to bilateral agreements they will have to explain to the parents of kids who go to these schools why they have no funding. It would be a disgrace if they use school kids as pawns in their funding games. Parents would be disgusted.
“If the States or Territories would like a briefing on the non-state school funding plan we will provide one.
“Government schools in the NT will not lose out under the Government’s funding arrangements. In fact, Government schools will see funding increase at a faster rate than non-government schools over the next decade.
“Implementing the recommendations of the National School Resourcing Board will further strengthen the needs based funding arrangements and will ensure the record levels of funding are going to where they are needed most.
“Make no mistake, Bill Shorten, Luke Gosling and Warren Snowdon will rip all of this money and more away from Catholic and Independent schools simply because they hate catholic and independent education and they hate the fact that parents want choice for their children.
“The CLP support both public and private education and that is why we are delivering record funding for all sectors based on the genuine need of students and their circumstances.
“Unlike Labor, the CLP have delivered record funding for all schools and we are committed to promoting and protecting choices for parents when it comes to their children’s education.
“Within the Territory, while the Gunner Government continues to underfund private schools and remote schools, the CLP will continue to deliver record funding and we again call on the Gunner Government to pay their fair share for our kids’ education whether they live in Darwin or in the bush.
“Ensuring we have low fee Catholic and Independent schools providing choice across the nation is a key government priority. This means that schools that need the most support will get the most support.”
The Government is providing record funding over 10 years to all Australian schools with $113.6 billion to State schools, $88.9 billion to Catholic schools and $68.5 billion to Independent schools.