Independent Schools Victoria chief executive Michelle Green said the uncertainty had created anxiety at independent schools.
“We encourage the Victorian and federal governments to reach an early agreement to give Victorian independent schools certainty regarding their government funding,” she said.
“Any failure to reach agreement will have serious implications for many of the 220 Victorian independent schools, the staff who work in them, and the parents of the 145,000 students who attend them.”
Late last year, as the standoff over school funding dragged on, Independent Schools Victoria advised some of its schools to speak to their banks about taking out extra loans to meet the potential shortfall.
Catholic Education Melbourne acting executive director Jim Miles said Catholic school communities expected funding certainty by the end of June.
«The Catholic sector has faith that Premier Andrews and Minister Merlino will work with the Morrison Government to ensure funding for our schools will flow in the second half of the year,» he said.
But Mr Merlino remained tight-lipped about whether Victoria would sign up to Gonski 2.0.
“We are currently considering this weekend’s result and what it means for Victorian schools,” he said.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said he was offering record funding for Victorian schools and he looked forward to meeting Mr Merlino.
«We are offering funding certainty and the same deal that every other state and territory has signed up to,» he said.
The sticking point over a long-term agreement has been the federal government’s contribution towards state schools’ schooling resource standard – the bedrock of the Gonski review.
Under the new deal, the federal government must provide 80 per cent of the resourcing standard to non-government schools and state governments are expected to fund 20 per cent.
When it comes to state schools, the federal government must provide 20 per cent of the target and state governments must fund 75 per cent.
Mr Merlino has repeatedly called on the federal government to lift its share for state schools from 20 to 25 per cent. He says it’s unfair that state schools will reach 95 per cent of the target, while non-government schools will hit 100 per cent.
Australian Education Union Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said the Morrison government’s deal left public schools underfunded.
«Victorian public schools are still the lowest funded in the country and state and federal governments must work together to fix this,» she said.
The Grattan Institute’s school education director Peter Goss said the Victorian government had to find a lot more money for state schools or live with them being funded below the target.
“The Coalition won’t be offering to increase their proportion above 20 per cent,” he said.
Dr Goss said in light of this, the Andrews government should reconsider its controversial laws which guarantee non-government schools at least 25 per cent of the funding given to public schools.
«Whether or not it was needed when it was brought in, it is almost certainly not needed now.»
The state Opposition’s education spokeswoman Cindy McLeish said schools needed funding certainty so they could make decisions and plan for the year ahead.
«The Andrews government has been playing politics,» the former secondary school teacher said. «They can’t keep hiding and waiting for a federal Labor government to bail them out.»
Education Editor at The Age