School fees at some Catholic primary schools could surge by up to $5000 a year by 2023 due to proposed changes to the way the sector is funded.
NewsCorp Australia reports that an analysis of school fees by Catholic education authorities has also revealed parents at many schools would be slugged with fee hikes of more than $1000 per child per year.
The NewsCorp report, published on Sunday, comes after the Turnbull Government revealed a plan to move from a fixed to flexible funding model, which the Catholic school sector believes could result in a $250 million funding gap.
CATHOLIC school fees at some Sydney primary schools could jump by up to $5000 a year by 2023: https://t.co/H2J6LTZ8Z2— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) May 6, 2017
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the sector's modelling was "misleading and fundamentally flawed", adding that funding for Catholic schools would increase by $1.2 billion over the next four years.
"I am committed to stopping the school funding wars and I urge all parties to end their scare tactics and stop campaigns for special treatment," he said in a statement.
"Our Gonski plan will treat students fairly and equitably across the country, with school funding calculated purely on need and regardless of historical deals, political influence or faith," he said.
"I want to reassure parents and families that with an increase for Catholic schools of $1.2 billion over the next four years there is no reason why fees should increase."
On Saturday, the Director of Catholic Education in Canberra Ross Fox said the schools funding shake-up could cost the government votes.
"It's absolutely got dire consequences in its current form," he told Sky News. "This is clearly an issue for parents and who could blame them."
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