QUEENSLAND Catholic education bodies have welcomed extra funding for schools in the State Government Budget.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Mike Byrne said the recent budget delivered about $16 million, a 5.5 per cent increase, in additional state funding to the Catholic sector.
‘We are particularly pleased that in a tough fiscal environment the Newman Government has been able to find funds to enable the Catholic sector to meet both the rising cost of education and enrolment growth of 2.5 per cent,” Mr Byrne said.
He said the funding would relieve pressure on school fees and allow more Queensland families to choose a Catholic school.
Mr Byrne also welcomed the significant commitment of $98million to school building programs including the Building Our Future Schools program and the move of Year 7 to secondary school from 2015.
“Both the additional recurrent funding and the funds for school buildings are a relief for the Catholic sector,” he said.
“I commend the Newman Government for its commitment to the education of young
Queenslanders in difficult economic circumstances.”
Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education, Pam Betts, said it was very pleasing for Catholic schools and parents to see the increase in state government funding.
“Many of our parents are doing it tough, so this extra funding will help us keep any increases in school fees next year to a minimum.
“We would now like the same level of certainty about our federal funding, so we can properly budget for 2014, knowing what our level of income will be.”
Catholic school parents also welcomed the news with Parents and Friends Federation of Catholic Schools executive director Carmel Nash saying parents were relieved the increase would help take the pressure off school fees.
“We are very pleased that the Government has prioritised the education of our children and the future of Queensland in what are currently tough economic times,” she said.
Mrs Nash said the increase in funding across all education sectors would assist in providing all Queensland students with an opportunity for success.
Catholic schools educate one-in-five Queensland students and employ around 17,000 teachers and staff across its 296 primary and secondary schools.
On average, they receive 20 per cent of their funding from the State government, 60 per cent from the Federal Government and 20 per cent from parent and community contributions and operate at about 90 per cent of the resourcing levels of State schools.