Independent and Catholic schools in Orange receive less government funding than their public school counterparts, yet the allocation is still unfair according to NSW Teachers Federation country organiser John Pratt.
Kinross Wolaroi School received $7,446 of each of its 995 students and the Orange Anglican Grammar School took in $7,234 for each of its 253 students in 2011.
Kinross also received $10,458 per student in fees, charges and parent contributions, while the grammar school collected $5,830 per student.
James Sheahan Catholic High School received $9,672 for each of its 908 students and pulled in $2,330 per student for fees, charges and parent contributions.
The Orange Christian school received $9,205 per student for 317 students and collected $3,498 in fees, charges and parent contributions per child.
In comparison, Canobolas Rural Technology High School received $13,488 for each of its 839 students and Orange High School $11,575 for each of its 1004 students.
Mr Pratt said 85 per cent of students with additional needs, were Aboriginal, came from lower socio-economic backgrounds or were isolated were in the public education system.
“That is where there is the greatest need,” he said.
“Clearly they [independent schools] have the capacity to earn money in a variety of ways.
“I think it’s pretty clear one just has to look at the facilities available at independent schools to compare funds. It’s common sense the public system deserves more.”
Association of Independent Schools of NSW executive director Dr Geoff Newcombe said the facilities at some independent schools had been paid for by parent contributions and fundraising, often without help from the government.
“It is what goes on in the classroom that people should focus on rather than make judgements based on appearances,” he said.
Dr Newcombe said government support for each child was the base funding that every child was entitled to and was already determined on a needs basis, taking into account the socio-economic circumstances of a school community.
“Parents are then able to contribute their after-tax dollars to their child’s education by way of fees if they wish to do so,” he said.
A department of education and communities spokesperson said in a statement that funding to public schools was not distributed on an exact per-student basis.
“For example, a school with six students would be staffed the same as a school with 24 students.”
State and federal funding per student for Orange schools
Glenroi Public School: $18,953
Bowen Public School: $17,414
Canobolas Rural Technology High School: $13,488
Orange High School: $11,575
Orange Public School: $10,415
James Sheahan Catholic High School: $9,672
Orange East Public School: $9,510
Orange Christian School: $9,205
Bletchington Public School: $9,153
Calare Public School: $8,846
Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School: $7,808
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School: $7,610
Kinross Wolaroi School: $7,446