Parents welcome announcement of increased capital funding for NSW Catholic schools

 

20 June 2018 General Interest

Catholic school parents are pleased to see the announcement of a $32 million increase to capital funding over the next four years for Catholic and Independent schools in the NSW Budget.

Parents in NSW Catholic schools currently fund more than 80 per cent of building and maintenance costs for the 595 Catholic schools across the state. This funding boost from the government will go to those Catholic schools that need it most.

Council of Catholic School Parents (CCSP) Executive Director, Linda McNeil, says that capital funding support in NSW has been considerably less than what the Victorian and Queensland Governments provide for their non-government schools, so this budget announcement is a move in the right direction.

“If we break it down into simple numbers, the Queensland Government contributes $347 per student annually to non-government schools for capital funding. By comparison, in NSW the state government has provided only $80 per student despite an urgent need for upgraded facilities and new schools,” Ms McNeil said.

One new school is St Brigid’s Catholic College at Lake Munmorah, which has benefitted from newly constructed classrooms, specialist facilities, and administration and facilities buildings. The contribution from the Australian Government was $7 million. This was heartily welcomed, but it couldn’t have happened without the contributions of parents in the Broken Bay Diocese of $26.8 million – nearly four times the Government’s contribution.

College Principal, Julie Terry, said, “The new facilities are wonderful, but the project couldn’t have happened without the generosity and hard work of our parents. Our parents pay school fees, but funding for capital works is over and above that. It is an additional financial commitment from them for the good of our students now and well into the future.

“We know families are under increasing financial pressure these days and we are grateful for their much valued contribution.”

CCSP says there are currently more than 250,000 students enrolled in Catholic schools in NSW. By 2031, enrolments are expected to rise to more than 290,000.

“The building of new classrooms costs money. Technology in schools costs money. Updating tired and worn out equipment and air-conditioning units cost money. And in NSW Catholic schools it is the parents who wear this financial burden at a rate that is just not sustainable or fair. It’s good to see that the NSW Government recognises this in their budget announcement, and is providing a much-needed increase in capital funding,” Ms McNeil said.

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001
news@dbb.org.au

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