REPORT: Wealthy parents may have to pay for their children to go to public school

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*Updated: 3.12PM.

A new confidential discussion paper, drawn up by the department of prime minister and cabinet, could see high-income families pay for their children to attend public school.

The green paper, obtained by Fairfax Media, also proposes Commonwealth funding for all schools should cease.

Here are the four reform options presented in the report:

  • Giving the states and territories full responsibility for all schools;
  • Making states and territories fully responsible for funding public schools while the federal government funds non-government schools;
  • Reducing Commonwealth involvement in schools, without significant structural change; or
  • Making the federal government the dominant funder of all schools.

  • This afternoon during question time Abbott said: “Let me say this, the Australian government does not and will not support a means test for public education, full stop, ends of story. If the states and territories want to change wealthy parents fees for public schools, that is a matter for them. Charging wealthy parents for their children to attend public schools is not this government’s policy.”

    This followed his comments earlier today, in which he praised the idea as “creative thinking”.

    However, if the federal government became the dominant funder under the proposed reform, schools fees would be “adjusted for student need and the ability of families to make a contribution,” the report said.

    “The States and Territories would have the option to ‘top-up’ funding to government schools, if they wished to do so, to ensure all public school students, regardless of the ability of families to make a contribution, were able to attend for free.”

    Read more here.

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