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Should Australia Stop Funding Private Schools?

Sep 6th 2014
It seems that one of the latest assignments for policymakers in education sector is to determine if they should stop funding private schools or continue with it. Almost all other countries in the OECD have stopped funding private schools publicly. The thing is that the privatized school system in Australia is quite strong with more than 40% of secondary children attending these schools.
 
Most of the schools in the OECD have several private schools, but only a few of them receive public funding.  Think about the schools in the USA or the private schools in England: not a single penny from taxpayer's money goes to these schools. This is quite unlike Australia. Some other countries like Chile have already started following the precedents set by other countries and stopped funding private schools. Instead, they have started redirection this money to disadvantaged public schools. They have done it after the announcement made by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
 
After these reforms, the government in Chile has stopped funding private, for-profit schools, and has instead invested this money on making primary and secondary education free. Australia should follow the same and move away from the policy of favouring private schools over public schools. The experts are of the view that the federal government should gradually reduce public funding to these private schools – they have estimated that a 25% decrease in funding every four years will set things on the right path.
 
What it means is that Australia should definitely stop funding private schools, but should not make quick changes. They should make changes gradually to ensure that these schools find another way to get their budgets in order. This is the only way to improve the education standard in this part of the world.
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