In Western Australia, Catholic school buildings are financed from the following sources:
- School reserves
- The Catholic Education System - Co-responsibility Building Fund (CBF)
- Australian Government Capital Grants
- State Government Low Interest Loans (LIL)
- Diocesan Loans (CDF).
The Catholic Education system is underpinned by an ethos and principle of co-responsibility. Schools contribute a levy into a Co-responsibility Fund which is used to support very small and otherwise financially non-viable schools in the system.
A portion of this pool is used to provide debt-servicing assistance to schools who must undertake loans for building projects on essential work that could not be don within their own resources. It is the system that enables new schools to be built and newly established schools to expand.
All Catholic schools charge families a building levy. This levy is firstly put towards the payment of existing loans taken out to undertake capital work and then contributes to reserves that accumulate over time for new building projects. Once fully established, schools are able to develop a capacity from their own operations to finance or carry the debt servicing on loans for building work.
The Australian Government provides funding towards capital expenditure for Catholic schools in Western Australia. Recognition requirements must be met as part of the conditions of funding to officially acknowledge the government’s contribution.
Schools acknowledge the Governments contribution by:
Advising school communities about assistance by such means as school newsletters
Installing a plaque on all completed projects
Arranging an official opening ceremony of funded facilities.
Low Interest Loans
The State Government makes substantial funds available annually as loans that must be repaid with interest rates that are well below commercial rates.
Catholic Development Fund
Catholic schools also have access to loans from the Catholic Development Funds in Perth and Bunbury. Loans are available to schools which have an approved Capital Development Plan and are undertaking projects approved by the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (CECWA).
These loans are provided on a commercial rate and hence, approval is more easily obtained if the school has the capacity to service the debt without assistance.
Schools that are unable to finance needed building programs are able to apply for grants and LIL. Allocations are determined according to a school’s socio-economic (SES) index and whether the project is urgent, essential or just desirable. Unfortunately, demand always exceeds available supply therefore these funds are carefully rationed.
Holy Cross College, Ellenbrook