The Age editorializes:
One example from several is Scotch College. Since 2000, it has raised its fees annually by an average of 8 per cent to more than $19,000 this year. Its funding from Canberra has more than doubled to $3.68 million this year. Some increases are more akin to explosions: Mentone Grammar fees have increased almost 80 per cent from $10,230 for year 12 in 2000 to $18,166 this year. Commonwealth grants have risen $760,000 to almost $3 million.Much of the extra resources appear to have been spent of capital works that appear to be at least in part monuments to principals and school boards. For the most part these capital works are paid for without incurring significant debt. Hence the current cohorts of students cross-subsidize the costs of other cohorts. It would be much farer to keep fees lower and to spread the cost of capital works across the various cohorts of students who use these facilities by debt-financing such works.
The schools themselves often under-invest in scholastic programs while spending huge amounts on sports facilities, unneeded performing arts centers and so on.
In many cases private schools operate as sales-maximizing local monopolies which account to nobody – not to the public sector, not to shareholders and certainly not to parents. More competition in this sector is required to keep fees down and to achieve cost efficiency by reining in frivolous expenditures. School boards need to be directly elected by and responsible to fee-paying parents.