Gonski funds flowing

TASMANIA has received the first round of Gonski funding totalling almost $143 million for government schools.

The federal government distributed the first of the four instalments on January 7, but there is uncertainty among some schools over budget shortfalls that may yet be realised.

A federal Education Department spokesman said yesterday that it was now up to each state when and how much funding would be distributed to the schools.

The base funding for each primary school pupil has been set at $9271 and for a secondary student $12,193.

The $143 million that Tasmania has received includes both base funding and loadings such as that for students from low SES backgrounds or with a disability.

A breakdown of what the state's Catholic or independent schools were set to receive could not be obtained yesterday, but nationally the Catholic sector will receive close to $7 billion and independents $4 billion.

It is understood that some individual schools were reporting budget shortfalls at the end of 2013 of as much as $350,000, which was due to the end of specific state and federal funding, some of which would be covered by Gonski.

However, state Education Minister Nick McKim said following the federal government's backflip on retaining Gonski, there were no funding shortfalls forecast for 2014.

He said the government's decision to provide an additional minimum 5 per cent increase to school budgets to address the IQ gap of 55 to 70 may see some schools receive up to an additional 30 per cent funding.

Mr McKim said this accounted for an additional $3 million spending on education, as well as another $8.5 million as part of the state's Gonski commitment.

Australian Education Union state president Terry Polglase said that with the end of federal National Partnerships funding and possible redistribution of other state funding, some schools were expected to have less in their budgets this year than last. However, some schools would see considerably more in their budget because of Gonski and IQ gap funding, he said.

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