CATHOLIC schools have welcomed election commitments from both major parties – although Labor and LNP have differing approaches to supporting education funding.
Two days before polling, the LNP unveiled its commitment to maintain recurrent funding to Catholic schools at the current level of 22.45 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard over the next four years if the party wins government.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the commitment would support families that had chosen Catholic education during the uncertain times ahead.
“We are likely to be experiencing the impacts of the pandemic across Queensland for some years to come,” Dr Perry said.
“Catholic schools are worried that any reduction in recurrent funding from the next State Government would force an increase in fees and put more pressure on already stressed families so we are pleased the LNP has committed to the current funding percentage.”
Dr Perry said the LNP had not given a commitment on capital funding for new and expanding schools, although it had provided assurance that schools would be adequately resourced.
In contrast the ALP funding commitments released several weeks ago, include an additional $60 million per year over three years for capital projects in non-government schools.
Big capital school projects currently being planned and built in communities across the state include the Lockyer Valley, Mackay and Cairns.
Labor has not promised to maintain recurrent funding.
The LNP has matched the ALP’s promise to provide $140,000 to enhance parent engagement strategies.
Catholic School Parents Queensland executive director Carmel Nash said the funding could make a big difference for many students.
“Research tells us, and we see in our schools all the time that when families are closely involved with a student’s learning those students have better outcomes,” Mrs Nash said.
“The extra funding being promised will allow CSPQ to assist families to connect and partner with their child’s school, engage in learning at home and help students to succeed.”
QCEC has set up a website page with information from Queensland’s major political party detailing how each party would support Catholic Schools if elected.
The web page covers four key areas: recurring funding, capital funding,
kindergarten construction and parent engagement.