WA public schools to receive full funding, says govt

This week, the WA government announced it would increase public school funding from 95% to 100% in the next two years.
WA public schools funding

The Western Australian Government has announced it will become the first state in the country where public schools will receive full funding. This is under a joint agreement with the Federal Government.

However, the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the WA teachers union are calling for further funding spent “directly” on education.

School funding

How much money a school requires to meet the needs of its students is determined by a measure called the Schools Resourcing Standard (SRS).

Accordingly, a 2023 AEU report found that 1% of public schools were receiving enough funding to meet the SRS. This is compared to 98% of private schools.

Financial contributions to all schools from governments are set out in a joint agreement between federal, state, and territory governments called the National School Reform Agreement.

WA public schools funding

This week, the WA government announced it would increase public school funding from 95% to 100% in the next two years.

Funding from the Federal Government will increase to 22.5% by 2026. In addition the WA government will fund the remaining 77.5% (to meet the 100% funding as per the SRS).

WA’s Education Minister Dr Tony Buti said it would improve outcomes “for all students”.

Union response

The AEU said the WA announcement will benefit the “most disadvantaged public schools”. However, it did not believe schools would be fully funded under the arrangement.

AEU President Correna Haythorpe said 4% of school funding is attributed to “transport and regulatory costs”. She said this was “not directly related to the education of students in schools”.

Haythorpe said this funding “still needs to be delivered” before WA schools are “truly funded”.

Other states

The ACT is currently the only jurisdiction where public school funding is high enough to meet the SRS.

Further, the AEU is calling for “100% of funding for 100% of schools” by 2028.

This would mean increasing federal funding commitments for all states and territories.

Meanwhile, education Minister Jason Clare said he will work with every jurisdiction to “properly fund our schools”.

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