The current level of inconsistency and divisiveness in the funding systems for government and non-government schools indicates a clear need for reforming school funding in Australia.
Widespread dissatisfaction with the current arrangements has been documented across the education sector. Forty percent of respondents in an Essential Research poll in 2009 said that the system for funding non-government schools should be changed. Polls conducted by the Associations of Independent Schools in NSW, South Australia and Queensland in 2010, and by the Australian Education Union (AEU) in 2011, each found that around two out of three people believe current funding to schools is inequitable, albeit for different reasons. AEU survey respondents were inclined to believe that public schools were underfunded relative to non-government schools, while the Associations of Independent Schools’ surveys found majority opinion supporting the opposite case. Nonetheless, this shows that funding systems are not well-understood and that misinformation is widespread.