At last, more information regarding school funding and the disparity between private and public schools. This disparity has also shown up in surveys done of school library funding and staffing. The Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians Report should recommend that these figures also be included on the My School website.
As it is, we have some telling statistics from the Children’s Book Council survey of 2010 of 624 schools around Australia.
Average Library Budget: $44,762.
80% of Anglican school library budgets are greater or equal to $20,000.
5 stated that their budgets are unknown. One commented: “We do not have a budget. We spend until told to stop.”
Average Library Budget: $37,220.
74% of Independent school budgets are greater or equal to $20,000.
6% of those schools had library budgets of over $100,000.
Average Library Budget: $20,732.
39% of Catholic school library budgets were greater or equal to $20,000.
Less than 1% were $50,000 or greater.
43% were $10,000 or less. 22% were $5,000 or less.
Average Library Budget: $10,606.
13% of government school library budgets were greater or equal to $20,000.
Only 2 (.5%) of the 375 schools had a budget exceeding $50,000.
66% had a library budget of $10,000 or below. 36% were $5,000 or less. 3% were $1,000 or less.
Further information can be found in the submission made by The Hub to the current federal review of school funding at https://hubinfo.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/school-funding-sub.doc The deadline for submissions is 31 March. Have your say on the funding, and resultant staffing, of school libraries. Go to http://www.forourfuture.org.au/ for further information.