Eligible Queensland independent schools will have access to an increased pool of capital funding from the State Government to support the development of new and upgraded facilities in 2021-22, according to State Budget papers released today.
The State Budget confirms the first tranche of an additional three-year $180 million capital funding election commitment to the non-state school sector will start flowing to independent and Catholic schools from this financial year.
Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson welcomed the first $60 million annual injection to non-state schools, which is an increase of $15 million a year on a previous election commitment and on top of ongoing baseline capital funding of $55 million per annum.
“While independent school parents fund the overwhelming majority of new and upgraded facilities in their children’s schools, these costs are significant, particularly for those independent school communities that don’t have the same financial capacity to raise funds for capital projects,” Mr Robertson said.
“This additional capital funding, combined with substantial parent contributions and borrowings will go towards new classrooms and associated facilities to accommodate the sector’s fast-growing student population which now exceeds more than 130,000 students,” he said.
Sector enrolments grew by 4.5% between August 2019 and 2020 and indicative data shows student numbers lifted again at the start of 2021 by about 5% compared to the start of the 2020 school year.
“ISQ-commissioned research estimates the sector will need to raise $1.25 billion, in addition to the more than $300 million it expends annually on facilities, to accommodate an extra 41,000 students projected to enrol in Queensland independent schools between now and 2036.”
Mr Robertson said a strong and growing independent schooling sector, backed by the significant private investment of Queensland families, delivered a substantial economic return on the public funding provided by the Queensland Government.
“In 2019, for every $1 of capital funding provided by governments, the independent schooling sector raised $7.50 - a huge private investment that creates new jobs and reduces the cost burden on public purse.”
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